Jeb Bush speaks to supporters in Florence, South Carolina. Rainier Ehrhardt/AP
Amid a failing presidential campaign, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has promised to keep open Guantanamo Bay if he can somehow win in 2016.
The Republican establishment favorite trails former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, real-estate tycoon Donald Trump and Florida Senator Marco Rubio in every national poll. During his trip to military college The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, he outlined his national security platform in an attempt to reestablish any sort of prominence within the race.
In October, the Bush campaign announced major cuts slashing jobs, removing senior staff, downsizing the Miami headquarters and cutting the campaign's payroll by 40 percent, along with 45 percent of its entire budget.
George W Bush’s little brother will seek to politicize the Paris terror attacks that killed 129 people and injured more than 300 others by highlighting the dangers the US could face if the wrong person is elected as the leader of the free world.
US Navy guards escort a detainee at Guantanamo Bay. Getty
“This brutal savagery is a reminder of what is at stake in this election. We are choosing the leader of the free world,” Mr Bush said, according to an exert published by Reuters.
Mr Bush plans to restore $1 trillion in cuts to the US military, add 40,000 troops to the US Army, 4,000 to the US Marines and boost relations with NATO nations as well as the Middle East and Asia.
He also plans to keep open Guantanamo Bay, established by his brother, despite President Obama’s promise to close the facility by the end of his second term in 2017. Only 107 detainees remain at the facility, including 48 prisoners cleared for resettlement in other countries, the Washington Post reports. He is expected to release the details of his plan by the end of this week.
Mr Bush largely blames President Obama, as well as his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for the rise of the Islamic State and terror attacks such as last Friday’s massacre in Paris.
However, Mr Bush was chided by President Obama on Wednesday after the Republican suggested that Syrian refugees should prove that they are Christians before immigrating to the United States.
“You’re a Christian, I mean, you can prove you’re a Christian,” Mr Bush told reporters during a campaign stop in Florence on Tuesday. “I think you can prove it. You can’t prove it, then you know, you err on the side of caution."
On Wednesday, during a speech at the G20 summit in Turkey, President Obama hit back.
“When I hear folks say that maybe we should just admit the Christians but no the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who is feeling from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful,” he said.