Republican Jeb Bush, looking for more ways to draw a contrast with his older brother, criticized former President George W. Bush on Thursday for permitting too much federal government spending.
After spending a week on the defensive for first saying he would have launched an invasion of Iraq just as his brother did, and then reversing course and disavowing the remark, Bush was asked by reporters in New Hampshire if there were any other differences on issues between the two brothers.
"Sure, I think that in Washington during my brother's time Republicans spent too much money," Bush said, adopting a longstanding complaint by fiscal conservatives that the Bush administration was too free-spending.
"He could have brought budget discipline to Washington, DC," Bush, the former Florida
governor who is exploring a 2016 presidential bid, told reporters.
Total federal spending under George W. Bush
grew from $1.86trillion in 2001 to nearly $3trillion in 2008, according to White House
figures, making him a frequent target of criticism from fiscal conservatives.