Former President George W. Bush was criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday when his old nemesis, the verbal slip, struck again. Bush eventually condemned Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — but not before he condemned “a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.”
Bush was drawing a parallel between how countries conduct elections and their stance toward other nations when his tongue went rogue.
“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq — I mean of Ukraine,” Bush said.
“Iraq… anyway,” he said with a shake of his head, as members of the audience chuckled. He then cited his age, 75, before returning to his speech.
Bush was speaking to an audience at his presidential library in Dallas, Texas, at an event focused on the importance of ensuring free, fair and secure elections, aiming to bolster voters’ confidence in U.S. elections. But the former president’s verbal gaffe quickly drew notice on social media and in headlines.