It's nice to know that even after all these years, former Republican President George W. Bush is still capable of cringey gaffes.
Bush raised several eyebrows during a recent speech at his namesake institute in Dallas, in which he appeared to inadvertently scold himself for the invasion of Iraq he led in 2003.
Intending to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine, Bush mistakenly said "Iraq" instead of "Ukraine" when decrying the "wholly unjustified and brutal invasion" being waged by Putin. Oops.
See his comments below.
While discussing Putin's warmongering and silencing of political opponents at an event centered on election security and the preservation of American democracy, Bush told the audience at the George W. Bush Institute:
"The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq--I mean, of Ukraine."
Yikes. Freudian slip? It seems it may actually have been just that.
Amid chuckles from the audience, Bush then said:
He then jokingly chalked the gaffe up to his age.
Bush's reputation has been tempered over time, particularly given his brand of conservatism is comparatively moderate after the rise of former Republican President Donald Trump and much of the Republican Party's subsequent slide into extremism.
But Bush has been widely considered among the worst presidents in American history, most notably because of his 2003 invasion of Iraq. The war is nearly unanimously considered a disaster nowadays, even among those of both political parties who supported it at the time.
And Bush's "wholly unjustified" slip-up is particularly apt given the false pretenses upon which he invaded Iraq--to rid the country and its dictator of so-called "weapons of mass destruction" the United Nations subsequently found never existed.
Anger over Bush's dishonest selling of the Iraq invasion to the American people and the brutality and torture used in the war itself has grown so intense over the years that Bush has frequently been called a war criminal for violations of the Geneva Conventions.
Those charges were reignited in the wake of Bush's gaffe at the Bush Institute, with many on Twitter excoriating the former President.
And many felt the slip-up was an insight into Bush's feelings about his time as President.
The gaffe overshadowed the real point of Bush's speech, which was an expression of solidarity and support for Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, whom Bush compared to wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.