By THOMAS BEAUMONT
CHICAGO (AP) — Running for president as part of a family dynasty is presenting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with inevitable comparisons he must address as he moves closer to a campaign for the White House.
“I recognize that as a result, my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs,” Bush says, referring to his brother, former President George W. Bush and his father, former President George H. W. Bush, in excerpts released early of a midday speech he’s to give in Chicago Wednesday.
“But I am my own man – and my views are shaped by my own thinking and own experiences,” he says. “Each president learns from those who came before – their principles. their adjustments.”
Bush has been confronted with questions about how he would distinguish himself particularly from his brother, who finished his second term in 2009 amid an unpopular war in Iraq, an economy in freefall and a majority of Americans disapproving of his job performance.
The younger brother has noted privately, among potential donors, their strong family and religious bonds, but has also talked about differences common among siblings.
Some foreign policy experts say Bush must go further and take a stance on whether the war in Iraq, begun in 2003 under George W. Bush, was an appropriate move. Jeb Bush did not answer the question directly when asked about it last week during a quick press availability after an event in Florida for his mother’s literacy charity.
“The answer he gave last week, about not litigating the past, that’s not a satisfying answer,” said Peter D. Feaver, a former national security adviser to George W. Bush. “He has to come up with a better answer than that.”
But Feaver says Bush would have an international landscape far different than the one his brother left behind.
Instead of the lurking threat of al-Qaida, Jeb Bush would inherit a map dotted with violent and unstable spots including Syria, Iraq, Iran and the Ukraine.
Jeb Bush recognizes that, according to the excerpts of his speech.
“One thing we know is this: Every president inherits a changing world. and changing circumstances,” he said.
Bush aides also confirmed late Tuesday that former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber, a senior policy aide to 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, was advising Bush.
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