The White House strikes back at both Bush presidents after they made stinging comments about Trump in a new book about the father and son.
A war of words erupted Saturday in the wake of a New York Times article about historian Mark Updegrove’s new book, titled “The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush” and scheduled for release on November 14, 2017.
“I don’t like him,” George HW Bush is quoted as saying in May 2016, adding: “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.”
As CNN reports, Updegrove “went on to ask George H.W. Bush what he thought Trump was seeking in running for president, and the former Navy war hero responded by saying that Trump had ‘a certain ego.’ Though George H.W. Bush told the author he thought Trump could unite the country, he said it would require ‘humility,’ which the former President told Updegrove was a challenge for Trump.
His son, George W Bush is quoted in the book as saying of Trump: “This guy doesn’t know what it means to be president,” and as The Guardian reported:
George W Bush gave a speech last month which was largely seen as a coded criticism of Trump, whom he did not name.
“Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children,” the former president said.
The New York Times also reported that George HW Bush, the 41st president told Updegrove that he voted for Hillary Clinton; and George W Bush, the 43rd president, said he voted for “none of the above,” adding that he initially thought Trump’s campaign would last and then worried that he himself would prove to be “the last Republican president.”
CNN reported that the Trump White House was quick to respond, lashing out at both former presidents.
“If one presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had, and that begins with the Iraq war, one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history,” a White House official told CNN.
“President Trump remains focused on keeping his promises to the American people by bringing back jobs, promoting an ‘America First’ foreign policy and standing up for the forgotten men and women of our great county,” the official added.
Continuing their report, CNN added that:
In commenting about the Bushes’ remarks, Updegrove told CNN’s Jamie Gangel: “If you look at the Bush family, it makes perfect sense. Donald Trump is everything that the Bush family is not.”
“George Bush grew up thinking about the greater good. Donald Trump is manifestly narcissistic. It’s part of his brand. And that brand is the antithesis of the Bush brand,” Updegrove added.
George W. Bush echoed his father’s sentiments when he told Updegrove, “As you know from looking at my family, (humility) is a certain heritage. That’s what they expect, and we’re not seeing that (in Trump).”
The Guardian elaborated on George W. Bush’s thoughts on Trump, reporting that:
Updegrove told the Times George W Bush’s values “and those shared by his father and Ronald Reagan, they are very much in contrast to the values of the Republican party today, in particular the platform that Donald Trump ran on, which is essentially protectionism and a certain xenophobia.”