Donald Trump and Jeb Bush rumbled Saturday night over whether or not George W. Bush did enough to keep America safe during his presidency. In the process, Trump bulldozed through GOP orthodoxy on George W. Bush’s record on 9/11, calling him out for not keeping America safe.
“The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign. Remember that,” Trump said after Jeb Bush said he was sick and tired of Trump always attacking his family.
“That’s not keeping us safe,” Trump said.
Rubio then chimed in and took a page from the old-school Republican playbook and blamed Bill Clinton for 9/11: “The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama bin laden when he had the chance to kill him.”
“I just want to say, at least on behalf of me and my family, I thank God all the time it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11, and not Al Gore,” Rubio said. “Again, he kept us safe, and I am forever grateful for what he did.”
Trump then doubled down on his attack, prompting boos from the debate audience that interrupted him.
“How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center– the World Trade– excuse me. I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George W. bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe. That is not safe,” Trump said.