Donald Trump's 9/11 attack on Jeb Bush so dumb it's genius

Trump leads GOP field: NBC News/WSJ poll

Donald Trump spent the weekend taunting Jeb Bush over the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and essentially blaming them on the former Florida governor's brother, then-President George W. Bush.

On the merits, Trump's comments are laughable. But they are also brilliant politics.

The real estate mogul set a trap that Bush could not escape. Let the remarks slide and Bush would look weak. But by engaging, Bush immediately turned the 2016 campaign back to the past and to his biggest weakness: his famous last name.

Jeb Bush wants the 2016 campaign to be about the future and faster economic growth. He does not want it to be about his brother's presidency, 9/11 and the war in Iraq.

Trump started the whole thing with a tautology: 9/11 happened on George W. Bush's watch. "When you talk about George Bush — I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time," Trump said Friday.