On Tuesday evening’s edition of “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” host Chris Matthews discussed the legacy of President George W. Bush’s administration and the Iraq War and the fact that the real motivation for the invasion of Iraq is still shrouded in mystery. He suggested that maybe the only way the U.S. will ever know for sure why our nation went into Iraq would be to “waterboard” the truth out of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Matthews began with a clip of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who declared in an interview this week that there’s “no Bush baggage at all,” that he is proud of his brother’s achievements as president and believes that the family name is in good standing with the American people.
Matthews listed Bush’s mistakes, from launching a war under false pretenses to squandering the budget surplus to the tragic mishandling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He then welcomed Peter Beinart of The Daily Beast and Bush’s Brain author Wayne Slater.
Beinart opined that Bush is to blame for destroying the Republican brand, particularly with young people. By the time Bush left office, he said, “the Republican Party is dead in the water among the young and it has not recovered.”
Slater said that he recently attended a dinner with two stalwart conservative leaders and even they were beginning to have their doubts about Bush’s legacy.
“These are very strong, Republican conservatives coming around to the view that the Bush administration mismanaged the war,” Slater said.
“Mismanaged?” replied Matthews. “What a dodge that is.”
“This ‘mismanaged’ thing,” he continued, “they went to war on false pretenses that they didn’t even believe were the reason they went to war. If you waterboard Cheney, he ain’t going to say weapons of mass destruction. He’s going to say, ‘I wanted to get Iraq, and I saw my chance.’”
Watch the clip, which aired on March 12 and is embedded below via MSNBC: