Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton might be political opponents come election time, but the pair was surprisingly cozy in 2013, when Bush presented Clinton with a public service award. Video from the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal Awards ceremony was released on Thursday, showing the future political opponents praising one another.
The award and gushing remarks given by Bush were particularly odd, given that the events in Benghazi – where 4 Americans died under Clinton’s watch as Secretary of state – had occurred almost exactly one year prior to this medal ceremony. “I want to say thank you to both Secretary Clinton and to President Clinton, thank you for your service to our country,” Jeb Bush says in the video.
Bush also stated, quite enthusiastically, “We are united by our love of country and public service.” Perhaps Bush was unaware of Clinton’s senate hearing, when the former Secretary of State told the panel questioning her about the Benghazi attacks, “What difference at this point does it make?”
Many Republican strategists fear such a video will be problematic if Bush is to face off against Hillary in a general election. “Anytime Jeb calls Hillary ‘Obama 2.0,’ any criticism he makes of her awful record as secretary of state, any time he shows how much of an extremist she is on the issues, will be completely dismissed when she reminds everyone that he gave her an award for public service,” said ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell.