Medal of Honor recipients praise Jeb Bush but offer stinging criticism of the current president in a new video released by the campaign that attempts to draw a stark contrast between the former Florida governor and President Barack Obama.
“This is no reality show. This is serious business. This is about the livelihood of our kids and grandkids. This commander in chief requires training wheels,” says James Livingston, a retired Major General from the U.S. Marine Corps, as the video shows a photo of Obama.
Jay Vargas, a retired colonel from U.S. Marine Corps, says in the video that the country “hungers for leadership.”
“We’ve almost gone backwards, where we should be going forward,” Vargas says. “And I think Jeb Bush will push it forward.”
Both men received the award from then-President Richard Nixon.
The highly-produced spot, “Ready,” features four Medal of Honor recipients and is nearly two minutes long. It will run as a “significant digital buy” in early primary states, according to the campaign, though they did not provide a specific amount spent on the ad.
It also comes one day after Bush laid out his plan in South Carolina to build up the military and called for a greater U.S. presence in the world. At the crux of his argument has been scathing criticism of Obama’s handling of national security and what Bush calls the president’s lack of strategy to take down ISIS.
Campaigning in New Hampshire Wednesday night, Bush said the president is “in denial” about the terror threat.
“Here’s the goal: Destruction of ISIS. Destruction of radical Islamic terrorism. Give me the options to carry this out. I wouldn’t say, ‘no civilian causalities’ although no one in America would ever want that. I wouldn’t say, ‘We can’t have combat troops on the ground,'” Bush said. “I wouldn’t put restrictions that would make it impossible for us to be successful because that’s what our president has done. And he’s in denial.”
Obama has fired back at his critics this week in press conferences overseas, defending his plan as the “right strategy,” attacking Republicans, and pushing back at calls for more ground troops in Syria.
“It is not just my view but the view of my closest military and civilian advisers that that would be a mistake,” Obama said Monday.