Former President George W. Bush slipped up during a speech on Wednesday in Dallas, Texas, accidentally calling the 2003 invasion of Iraq the result of “one man” who launched an unjustified and brutal” invasion. He stopped and corrected himself: “I mean, of Ukraine.” Bush had meant to refer to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
In 2003, then-President Bush led an American invasion of Iraq largely to find “weapons of mass destruction” following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Bush’s gaffe in Dallas has been jokingly coined a “Freudian slip” by political critics on social media. In fact, Chron reported that the video of his mistake has been viewed over 18 million times just on Twitter.
Interestingly, amid a growing crisis in Eastern Europe as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia rages on, Bush compared Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Chron additionally reported.
President Donald Trump has frequently lambasted Bush for his invasion of Iraq, and recently decried the former president’s leadership decisions during a Save America rally in Greensburg Pennsylvania.
“Whether you like him or not, whether you like a Republican or not, he got us into the Middle East – he should be ashamed of himself for what he did,” Trump told the crowd, drawing applause.
Bush has been a fairly vocal critic of the MAGA movement in America. In 2021, Bush implied in a 9/11 memorial speech that domestic terrorism within the borders of the U.S. could be likened to proponents of violent terrorism and extremism similar to what was inflicted on the World Trade Center in 2001, according to a report from the Washington Examiner.
President Trump was quick to respond, stating in September 2021 that, “…as he lectures us that terrorists on the ‘right’ are a bigger problem than those from foreign countries that hate America…he shouldn’t be lecturing us about anything.”
Former President Bush’s excuse for referring to Iraq instead of Ukraine in his speech was simple: “I’m 75,” he quipped. Social media users have been roasting him nevertheless, broadly accusing him of having a guilty conscience over the invasion of the Middle East.