Bush says Clinton failed as secretary of state

2015-06-17 05:59
Jeb Bush (Erik Schelzig, AP)

Jeb Bush (Erik Schelzig, AP)

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Derry - Newly declared 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is fast out of the gate in criticising Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic front-runner.

In his New Hampshire debut as an official candidate on Tuesday, Bush commended Clinton as tough and smart but labeled her record as secretary of state "a complete failure" and said she didn't accomplish much as New York's senator.

Bush said that as a presidential candidate, it is "ridiculous" that Clinton has run a cloistered operation with limited opportunities to face questions from the press.

The former Florida governor made those comments in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity that was overheard by an audience for a town hall event that followed. The interview was to be broadcast on Tuesday night.

Bush took questions for over an hour from audience members gathered at the Adams Memorial Opera House. He voiced his conviction that, as president, he could help the country achieve 4% annual growth.

"The future can be extraordinary for this country," he told the crowd.

Bush, brother and son to former presidents, linked Clinton to what he regards as President Barack Obama's misbegotten foreign policy.

Republicans in Congress have gone after Clinton for her handling of the deadly attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. But Bush also faulted her for engaging in diplomacy that failed to reset relations with Russia and shrank US commitments abroad.

After months of testing the waters, there were signs that Bush was still getting used to being a candidate. After answering his last question, Bush thanked the crowd for coming — but then interrupted his applause because he forgot to ask for something that veteran political candidates rarely miss.

"I totally blew it," he said. "This is my first day, so I'm a rookie at this, and running. I want your vote."

New Hampshire, which has a history of backing more moderate Republican candidates, is likely an important state for Bush. He told reporters he plans to return often.

Read more on:    jeb bush  |  hilary clinton  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

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