Presumptive GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Friday that he found it “baffling” that Hillary Rodham Clinton used a private e-mail server while secretary of state, a practice that has prompted sharp criticism of Clinton in recent days.
Bush — who could end up facing Clinton in a run for the White House next year — also said he would stop using his private e-mail address if elected president.
“For security purposes, you need to be behind a firewall that recognizes the world for what it is, and it’s a dangerous world, and security would mean that you couldn’t have a private server,” Bush said in an interview with Radio Iowa. “It’s a little baffling, to be honest with you, that didn’t come up in Secretary Clinton’s thought process.”
Clinton has turned over 55,000 pages of e-mails to the State Department from her four-year tenure as secretary of state. She never had a State Department e-mail account, using her own “clintonemail.com” address through a private server in her New York home.
The arrangement — revealed in news reports this week — has led to a storm of criticism
from government-transparency advocates and Republican lawmakers, who accuse her of attempting to evade federal
It has also created a political complication for Clinton — the presumptive Democratic front-runner for president — and some Democrats have expressed concern about its impact on the presidential race.
Clinton, after remaining silent as questions mounted, said in a tweet late Wednesday that “I want the public to see my email” and has asked the State Department to release the communications.
State Department officials have said that Clinton and her private staff, not the agency, decided which of her e-mail correspondence from her four years in office to turn over. The department has launched a review to determine which of the e-mails can be made public.
In the wake of the Clinton revelations, Bush and his campaign-in-waiting have touted his decision to publish hundreds of thousands of e-mails he sent and received while serving as governor and using a personal e-mail address, email@example.com.
But Bush’s e-mail cache includes only self-selected messages that he was required to release in compliance with Florida public-records laws. The Web site housing his e-mails doesn’t include any correspondence related to his political activities or between him and his family or friends.
Regardless, Bush aides argue that he has gone beyond what Clinton and his potential GOP rivals for president have done or are willing to do on transparency.
Bush spoke Friday just before traveling to Iowa for his first trip to the state ahead of his presumed campaign. He planned to appear Friday night at a GOP fundraiser and make three campaign-style stops across the state Saturday.
During the radio interview, he indicated that he’s seriously preparing a presidential run.
“The possibility of running is daunting and running would be even more so,” he said. “I think the lesson learned that I took away from Iowa in my forays in there for my dad and my brother is that you’ve got to be all in. You’ve got to really take the time to meet people and campaign there actively one-on-one and on a personal level.”