Jeb Bush Comes Full Circle On Iraq Question: 'I Would Not Have Gone Into Iraq'

"It's very hard for me to say that their lives were lost in vain," Jeb said.

"If we're all supposed to answer hypotheticals,” Bush said at a town hall meeting in Tempe, Arizona, today. “I would not, have engaged, I would not have gone into Iraq."

Bush said he was "reluctant to say what I'm about to say now" because as governor of Florida he contacted families to offer condolences when their children died in Iraq. "It's very hard for me to say that their lives were lost in vain, and they weren't."

But over the last few days he has sought to refine that answer.

And Wednesday, at a town hall meeting in Nevada, he said this: "The problem with hypotheticals is two-fold. One, when I was governor I got to -- I felt it a duty, I didn't have to -- to call all the family members of people who lost their lives and I don't remember the total number but it was easily over 100. And I felt it a duty to do that because I admired the sacrifice of their families. And I admired the men and women -- mostly men -- that made the ultimate sacrifice. So, going back in time and talking about hypotheticals -- what would have happened what could have happened, I think, does a disservice for them."

But speaking to reporters after the event he hinted at the position he took today: “Of course, given the power of looking back and having that -- of course anybody would have made different decisions. There's no denying that.”