Jeb Bush Responds To Criticism Over His Anti-Israel Advisor James Baker YM"S
His excuses did little to reassure critics.
Likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush earned widespread criticism this week regarding a speech planned by his foreign policy adviser, former Secretary of State James Baker.
As Baker geared up to deliver an address Monday evening before a gathering of the left-leaning lobbying organization J Street, a number of conservative sources skewered him for his perceived anti-Israel position.
Radio host Mark Levin, for one, cited a “well-documented” pattern of “antipathy toward Israel” regarding Baker, adding both he and Obama share similar hatred toward the Jewish nation.
“This is they guy,” Levin continued, “the leading adviser to Jeb Bush on foreign policy, who Jeb Bush asked to be his leading adviser, and now he’s the keynote speaker to this left-wing hate group J Street.”
Even before Baker’s speech, Bush spokesman Tim Miller attempted to distance the former Florida governor from the actions of his adviser.
Bush, Miller said, “firmly opposes lobbying groups whose actions undermine Israel’s efforts to defend itself.”
The backtracking continued Tuesday when another Bush spokesperson, Kristy Campbell, sent out a statement indicating that Bush “respects Secretary Baker” but “disagrees with the sentiments he expressed last night and opposes J Street’s advocacy.”
She went on to cite Bush’s “unwavering” support both for Israel and its presumptively reelected prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Bush camp’s attempts to assuage misgivings have apparently been insufficient, as evidenced by the comments left by several readers of a Politico article on the topic.
One commenter declared Bush a “political coward” while several asserted he is lying about his purported stance on Israel.