It’s been apparent for quite some time that the Bush family is no fan of Donald Trump, but a new report underscores just how deep their disgust for the new president is.
According to an eye-opening story in The New York Times, the two former Republican presidents think that Trump is a “blowhard” who is destroying the GOP. Both men also suggested Trump doesn’t have a clue what it means to be the leader of the free world.
“I don’t like him,” George H.W. Bush said, according to a new book to be released this month. “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.”
George W. Bush echoed his father’s sentiments in the book, saying: “Wow, this guy doesn’t know what it means to be president.”
Both Bushes also confirmed that they did not cast their ballot for Trump in the 2016 election, with the elder Bush even confirming that he voted for Hillary Clinton.
More from the report:
Indeed, at one point during the 2016 presidential campaign, the younger Mr. Bush confided to the author, “I’m worried that I will be the last Republican president.”
“At the time, I think he was concerned that Hillary Clinton would win,” Mr. Updegrove, the author of several books on the presidency, said in an interview. “But if you look at his 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.”
In discussing Mr. Trump, the elder president was blunter. “I don’t like him,” Mr. Bush said in May 2016. “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.” Rather than being motivated by public service, Mr. Bush said Mr. Trump seemed to be driven by “a certain ego.”
The younger Mr. Bush was more circumspect, but also clearly disapproving. The Bushes felt stung by Mr. Trump’s ground-burning attacks that helped destroy the campaign of Jeb Bush, the son and brother of the presidents.
“You can either exploit the anger, incite it,” George W. Bush told Mr. Updegrove, “or you can come up with ideas to deal with it.” Jeb, he said, came up with solutions, “but it didn’t fit with the mood.”
There are two reasons the criticism from the former Bushes is stunning: 1. These are two Republican presidents attacking a Republican commander-in-chief – that’s essentially unheard of, at least in the pre-Trump era; and 2. Both men rarely, if at all, criticized former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, during his two terms in office.
George W. Bush, in particular, was emphatic in his belief during Obama’s tenure that criticizing the 44th president would hurt the presidency and be bad for the country, so he basically refused to do it. I suppose it helped that Obama actually had a clue what he was doing.
The direct attacks on Trump today by both Bushes suggest that they believe staying silent while the 45th president continues to show himself as a clear and president danger to the United States is more damaging than speaking out.