19-year-old Ivy Ziedrich also called former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush "pedantic"

By Tierney McAfee
May 14, 2015 04:00 PM
Ricardo Arduengo/AP

A college student confronted former Florida governor Jeb Bush on Wednesday, telling the potential Republican presidential candidate that his brother, former President George W. Bush, was responsible for creating ISIS.

The tense interaction, which took place at a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada, came after Bush blamed President Obama for the rise of the militant Islamist group, according to The New York Times.

That’s when Ivy Ziedrich, a 19-year-old college Democrat at the University of Nevada, told Bush, “Your brother created ISIS.”

He responded by asking if she had a question, and she shot back, “You don’t need to be pedantic to me, sir.”

“Pedantic? Wow,” Bush replied.

Ziedrich continued to press the former governor, asking, “Why are you saying that ISIS was created by us not having a presence in the Middle East when it’s pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism? Why are you spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars?”

“We respectfully disagree, we have a disagreement,” Bush responded, and again put the blame on Obama for pulling troops out of Iraq too soon and leaving the war-torn country vulnerable to the rising power of ISIS.

“Look, we can rewrite history all you want. But the simple fact is that we are in a much more unstable place because America pulled back,” he said, ending the conversation – if only in the literal sense.

The clash has gone viral, and Ziedrich says she’s still “trying to process” the media frenzy.

The political science major, who is from a conservative Republican family, admits she was incredibly nervous when she approached Bush. “I get nervous any time I talk to an authority figure – he wants to be president of the United States,” she told The New York Times in an interview Thursday. “I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful,” she added.

Nevertheless, she was moved to speak.

“A Bush was trying to blame ISIS on Obama’s foreign policy – it was hilarious,” she said. “It was like somebody crashing their car and blaming the passenger.”

It’s been a rough week for Bush, who made headlines Monday when he said during an interview with Fox News that he would have authorized the invasion of Iraq in 2003. His answer prompted criticism from his likely Republican rivals for president, and his later claim that he’d “misheard the question” didn’t help.

At a town hall meeting in Tempe, Arizona, Thursday, he again attempted to backpedal. “If we’re all supposed to answer hypotheticals, I would not have engaged, I would not have gone to Iraq,” he said, according to ABC News.

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The former governor is tentatively planning to announce his bid for the 2016 presidency this summer, Bush sources tell PEOPLE. But at an event in Reno Wednesday, he let it slip: “I’m running for president in 2016,” before hedging, “if I run,” ABC News reports.

“I’m not an official candidate,” he said. “I’ll make up my mind soon, for sure.”

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