- George W. Bush slipped up at an event, decrying the invasion of Iraq, instead of the war in Ukraine.
- He paused for a moment, caught himself, and laughed at the blunder, blaming his age.
- Bush also called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “cool little guy.”
Former US President George W. Bush mistakenly denounced the “brutal, unjustified invasion of Iraq” at an event for The George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, when he was offering a critique of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The slip-up, first reported by the Dallas Morning News, happened at a Bush Center event called “Elections – A More Perfect Union,” where guests, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, spoke about the state of elections in the US and in Russia.
“In contrast, Russian elections are rigged. Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from participating in the political process,” Bush told the crowd. “The result is the absence of checks and balances in Russia and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.”
—Michael Williams (@michaeldamianw) May 19, 2022
“I mean of Ukraine,” he said, pausing, then laughing. “Anyways. I’m 75,” Bush added after the gaffe, while the audience laughed.
The comments were among his first since Russia’s invasion. During the event, Bush also likened Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Winston Churchill, calling the Ukrainian president a “cool little guy.”
Bush’s administration was widely criticized for misleading rhetoric about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before launching an invasion of the country.