During one shouting match at the South Carolina debate, Donald Trump attacked Jeb Bush with claims that his brother, President George W. Bush, was responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks and didn't keep Americans safe. Trump --- who is running as a Republican --- spouted all the radical liberal talking points about 9/11.
"First of all, you're blaming George Bush for 9/11, which is only what the worst left-wing nutjobs do," Stu said Tuesday, filling for Glenn on The Glenn Beck Program. "Most people would say, 'Look, was he perfect? No.' But was he responsible that a few months after he came into office, there was a terrorist attack? No sensible person blames him for it."
It's also very poor form to attack a former Republican president at a GOP debate, especially with outrageous claims.
Donald Trump’s liberal talking points about 9/11 showed his true colors.
“How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center came down -- the World -- excuse me. I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down during the [Bush administration]” Trump said in between boos. “He kept us safe? That's not safe. That is not safe, Marco. That is not safe.”
Better Than Gore
Coming to the defense of George Bush, Marco Rubio may have had the single best line of the night.
“I just want to say, at least on behalf of me and my family, I thank God all the time that it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11 and not Al Gore,” Rubio said.
Rubio's comment received thunderous applause from the audience. The senator also made the accurate and valid point that it was President Bill Clinton who failed to take out Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance.
“All right. The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn't kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him,” Rubio said.
Bill Clinton's Regret
The Washington Post fack-checked Rubio's claim about Clinton. Was Rubio right or wrong?
"They had nine examples of times where Bin Laden may have been killed or at least there was an effort to do that. And, of course, it did not occur during the Clinton administration," Stu said. "Some of them were not his fault. Some of them were CIA plans that were abandoned."
Stu went on to explain one specific instance in August 1998 when Clinton vacillated over signing a memo to authorize killing Bin Laden. The language was weakened, leaving CIA officials under the impression they did not have permission to kill Bin Laden.
According to Stu, it's one of Clinton's biggest regrets.
Common Sense Bottom Line
George W. Bush was not on the stage Saturday night, and should not have been attacked viciously. Rather than talking about substantive solutions, Trump resorted to more name-calling and finger-pointing.
"The fact that he's using [9/11] for his own political gain is another thing that even most Democrats wouldn't attempt," Stu said. "The lengths this man will go to for his own personal benefit are jarring."
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
PAT: On Saturday night, Rubio and Trump and Jeb Bush all got into this 9/11 thing. I mean, this is just a fiasco with Donald Trump.
JEFFY: It sure is.
PAT: And the whole George W. Bush is responsible for 9/11 and he should have been impeached and all that kind of stuff.
So I thought Jeb had a pretty good defense of his brother. Also, Rubio stepped in. And here's what he had to say.
MARCO: I just want to say at least on behalf of me and my family, I thank God all the time that it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11 and not Al Gore.
PAT: Excuse me.
MARCO: I think you can look back in hindsight and say a couple of things, but he kept us safe. And not only did he keep us safe, but no matter what you want to say about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was in violation of UN resolutions, an open violation, and the world wouldn't do anything about it. And George W. Bush enforced what the international community refused to do. And, again, he kept us safe. And I'm forever grateful to what he did for --
DONALD: How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center came down -- the World -- excuse me. I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down during the --
DONALD: He kept us safe. That's not safe. That is not safe, Marco. That is not safe.
MARCO: All right. The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn't kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him.
DONALD: And George Bush -- by the way, George Bush had the chance also, and he didn't listen to the advice of his CIA.
PAT: Okay. So there's Trump. I mean, he is really doubling, tripling, quadrupling down on George W. Bush responsible for 9/11 essentially. He didn't keep us safe on 9/11. All of that. What are the facts about Bill Clinton's involvement there? You have to turn on your microphone.
JEFFY: And while he's doing that, I will say, if you go back and look at the video of when Donald Trump is saying, he didn't get the facts of his CIA. He looked so --
PAT: Oh, he was pissed.
JEFFY: -- angry.
PAT: Very much so.
STU: First of all, you're blaming George Bush for 9/11, which is only what the worst left-wing nutjobs do. Most people would say, "Look, was he perfect? No. But was he responsible that a few months after he came into office, there was a terrorist attack." No sensible person blames him for it.
PAT: Not even Jeb mentioned that. He took office in January, we were hit in December. Okay. It was just the very beginning of his presidency.
STU: The planning obviously started long before that.
PAT: Long before that.
STU: It's just a ridiculous criticism that even most normal Democrats abandoned a long time ago.
STU: Not to mention, he's using to win arguments in a debate that lives of, you know, people who are killed in these attacks -- he claims to have lost hundreds of friends. Whether he even has hundreds of friends I think is a question. Most people don't. At least people you would actually consider friends. But the fact that he's using that for his own political gain is another thing that even most Democrats would attempt.
So there's a whole 'nother thing there besides the fact that it's ridiculous as far as the facts of the matter. The lengths this man will go to for his own personal benefit are jarring. And he pulled that off there.
The question about Rubio claiming that Clinton had chances to kill them -- Washington Post did a fact-check on this. And I kind of assumed they were just going to say, "Yeah, well, false."
STU: Actually they had nine examples of times where Bin Laden may have been killed or at least there was an effort to do that. And, of course, it did not occur during the Clinton administration.
Some of them were not his fault. Some of them were CIA plans that were abandoned. But there are nine of them including time -- this one, to give you a brief example. I mean, we can go through all of them. It's probably not worth necessarily going through all of them.
But he had a memo -- he vacillated over signing a memo that would have authorized the killing of Bin Laden. This is August 1998. He first authorized only a capture, then agreed to allow Bin Laden's killing, only to weaken the language later. CIA officials were under the impression they did not have permission to kill Osama bin Laden.
PAT: Seems to me that Clinton has admitted that since.
STU: It's definitely one of his biggest regrets, I think he said.
PAT: Yeah. So I thought it was true when Rubio said it. And it seems like the post -- or is it the TIME's? Or is it the Post?
STU: The Post.
Featured Image: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) participates in a CBS News GOP Debate February 13, 2016 at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. Residents of South Carolina will vote for the Republican candidate at the primary on February 20. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)