Former President George W. Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, both criticize President Trump in a new book to be released this month, with George W. Bush admitting that, despite Trump’s political affiliation, he’s worried that he will be the last Republican president.
George H.W. Bush also calls Trump a “blowhard” in the book, “The Last Republicans,” by Mark K. Updegrove, which was previewed by The New York Times and CNN on Friday.
The title was inspired by a quote from the younger Bush, who told him during the 2016 election, “I’m worried that I will be the last Republican president.”
Back in May 2016, before Trump had won the election, the senior Bush told historian Mark Updegrove, “I don’t like him. I don’t know much about him, but I know he’s a blowhard. And I’m not too excited about him being a leader.” Bush added that Trump appeared to be driven by “a certain ego.”
“Wow, this guy doesn’t know what it means to be president,” the younger Bush said. He indicated that a president should not “exploit the anger, incite it” but rather “come up with ideas to deal with it.”
Neither man voted for Trump in the last election, and George H.W. Bush confirms in the book that he voted for Hillary Clinton. George W. Bush said he left the top of his ballot blank and did not vote for Clinton because she has “bad judgment.”
Tension between the Bushes and Trump have long been documented. Neither Bush endorsed Trump during the 2016 campaign in which Trump mocked George W. Bush’s brother, Jeb Bush, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the GOP nomination, with such phrases as “low energy.”
George W. Bush spoke at an event in New York last month, where he offered an implicit rebuke of Trump. He said “bigotry seems emboldened” and of “nationalism distorted into nativism.” He never said Trump’s name, but many politicos and journalists made the inference.
The White House on Saturday responded to the criticism revealed in the new book.
“The American people voted to elect an outsider who is capable of implementing real, positive, and needed change – instead of a lifelong politician beholden to special interests,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “If they were interested in continuing decades of costly mistakes, another establishment politician more concerned with putting politics over people would have won.”
Though liberals have historically been sharp critics of the younger Bush — for reasons including the decision to invade Iraq, a slow and widely panned response to Hurricane Katrina, and his administration’s wholesale embrace of torture — he has grown more popular in the Trump era.
An October survey showed that 51 percent of Democrats hold at least a somewhat favorable view of Bush. On Friday, former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann — who has previously called Bush a fascist and a liar — said he owed Bush an apology and would prefer a third Bush term to Trump as president. Last year, the public went wild with glee over a photo showing Bush and Michelle Obama enjoying a brief embrace.
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H/T The Hill