The Corner

Politics & Policy

Trump v. Bush Escalates, and the Huffington Post Rewrites History

As Michael Strain writes below, Jeb Bush has taken a hard swing at Donald Trump, a swing that comes one day after Trump released this ad on Instagram:

This is no "act of love" as Jeb Bush said…

A post shared by President Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

I think it’s fair to say that the gloves are now fully off in the Republican primary. The Huffington Post, however, used the post to recall alleged race-baiting in the Republican past:

The ad quickly drew comparisons to the infamous Willie Horton ad, which aired during the 1988 presidential race between Vice President George H.W. Bush — the former Florida governor’s father — and Democrat Michael Dukakis. The racially charged ad was created by an outside group supporting Bush, who went on to win the election, and criticized Dukakis for supporting a furlough program for prisoners. Horton, a black man, had raped a woman after being released on furlough.

Yes, Republicans ran effective ads based on the Horton murders, but whenever any Democrat brings up Horton, always remind them that Al Gore, not George H.W. Bush, was the first to raise Dukakis’s furlough program. (Oh, and for the record, Hillary Clinton supporters were the first birthers.)

As for the merits of the Trump ad itself — it’s obvious that Bush wasn’t describing every act of illegal immigration as an “act of love.” Trump lands a very low blow, but Bush’s remarks were absurdly idealistic, and the cost of idealism can be high indeed. Policies based on presumptions of love can leave a nation more open to the loathsome. 

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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