Jeb Bush says on the campaign trail that he’s his “own man.” So Democrats are pouncing on a Washington Post report that the former Florida governor told a group of New York investors this week that his brother, former president George W. Bush, is his “most influential counselor on U.S.-Israel policy.”
The Post quoted the younger Bush as saying, “ ‘If you want to know who I listen to for advice, it’s him.’ “ The newspaper says the remarks -- which were attributed to Republicans speaking on the condition of anonymity -- came as part of an answer to a question about Bush’s political aides and their policy views, following a dust up over former secretary of state James Baker, a Bush advisor who angered some Jewish groups by speaking to a left-leaning Israeli advocacy group in March.
The newspaper said Bush spokesman Tim Miller played down the significance of Bush’s comment.
"Governor Bush has said before that his brother is the greatest ally to Israel in presidential history, he admires his stalwart support for our ally, and that is in line with his commitment to standing with Israel in the face of great threats to their security and our own," Miller told the Post.
Bush at a speech in February sought to put distance between himself and his family, saying he was “my own man, and my views are shaped by my own thinking and my own experiences."