It was an odd moment during last week’s GOP presidential debate: In a clash between front-running Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, Bush defended his brother George W. Bush’s time in office, saying that he “kept us safe.” It seemed like an obvious rejoinder for Trump to follow up, but he didn’t, nor did any of the other nine candidates on the stage at the Reagan library.
But many Democrats around the country saw the exchange and had to wonder about who exactly was in charge when the 9/11 attacks occurred?
The group Americans United for Change is now going up with a 30-second ad that will appear on national cable starting this week that challenges that assertion.
“It’s as if Jeb Bush believes his brother’s presidency began on September 12th, 2001. But we’re not letting Jeb rewrite history,” says Brad Woodhouse, president, Americans United for Change. “It’s convenient but not honest to ignore the facts that the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor happened on George W. Bush’s watch after dismissing warnings from U.S. intelligence officials weeks before 9/11 that Osama bin Laden was ‘determined to strike in US’ and that his terrorist network might hijack American planes.”
Americans United for Change’s statement is much more aggressive than the ad itself, which highlights the news footage of when the economy cratered, followed by shots of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war. The last part, referencing the 9/11 attacks, is somber, with former CNN commentator Jeff Greenfield saying, “What we are seeing now is nothing less than the worst nightmare that one could imagine,” with the two beams of light shooting straight up into the sky from where the twin towers formerly stood.