- The Washington Times - Monday, October 19, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continued to insist Monday he isn’t blaming former President George W. Bush for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but said the contention that the United States was completely safe during Mr. Bush’s presidency is inaccurate.

“I’m not blaming anybody. I don’t like to go back and blame; I like to look to the future,” Mr. Trump said on “Fox and Friends.”

“The only I said, well, you know, he said we were safe,” Mr. Trump said, referring to a line from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the second GOP presidential debate last month. “Well, the fact is, we had the worst attack in the history of our country during his reign. Jeb said we were safe during his reign. That wasn’t true. And that’s the only thing I pointed out. And I’m not blaming anybody.”

“I’m not blaming George Bush,” Mr. Trump said. “Although if you look at his three primary agencies, they hated each other. They weren’t talking. It wasn’t that they weren’t talking by mistake. They hated each other, and a good leader would have made sure they get along and they talk and lots of other things happened. With all of that being said, I’m not blaming anybody, but the statement was made, at the debate … during my brother’s reign, we were safe.”

“Well, we weren’t safe because the World Trade Center came down and 3,000 lives were lost, and lots of other bad things happened,” Mr. Trump said.

He said the United States attacked “the wrong country” in the wake of the attack.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump, GOP presidential candidate: I would have kept 9/11 hijackers out of U.S.

Asked if the 43rd president kept Americans safe “at home,” Mr. Trump said: “Well, we haven’t had a major problem at home — I agree with that. I never disagreed with that.”

“But we attacked a country — we spent 2 trillion attacking a country. You know what we have for it right now? Zero,” he said.

Last week in an interview with Bloomberg TV, Mr. Trump had pointed out that the World Trade Center came down during the Bush administration.

Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, has fired back at Mr. Trump’s remarks, saying they prove he’s not fit to be commander-in-chief.

“I have grave doubts, to be honest with you. And it’s only because of the things he says. It looks as though he doesn’t — he’s not taking the responsibility, the possibility of being president of the United States really seriously.” Mr. Bush said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“For him, it looks as though he’s an actor playing a role of the candidate for president — not boning up on the issues, not having a broad sense of the responsibilities of what it is to be a president,” Mr. Bush said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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