Both former Bush presidents, George H.W. Bush (#41) and George W. Bush (#43) have broken their silence on the current president, Donald Trump, in a new book being released later this month (November 14) called, The Last Republicans, by Mark K. Updegrove.
For most part, when questioned about a Trump presidency, the Bushes have maintained a rather tightlipped assessment.
Trump’s howling loyalists have taken even the most benign statements by either Bush as treason against the throne, insisting that the men are holding a grudge, because of how Jeb Bush was treated by Trump during the primaries.
Yeah. If they’ve been unhappy before, it sounds like this will have the Derp State burning the former presidents in effigy.
“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.”
An honest assessment from a 93-year old man, who, like most who reach this age, has no filter.
Added the author, Updegrove:
“If you look at the Bush family, it makes perfect sense. Donald Trump is everything that the Bush family is not,” Updegrove told CNN’s Jamie Gangel. “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.”
This is true. You can say what you want about either Bush, their administrations, or their service to the country, but when it comes to humanity and humility, there is absolutely no comparison between the Bush family and Trump’s brood.
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).”
Updegrove told CNN: “When Donald Trump said, ‘I am my own adviser,’ Bush thought — and this is a quote — ‘Wow, this guy doesn’t know what it means to be president.'”
The author also adds that when Trump first announced his candidacy, George W. Bush had the same reaction that many had, back then – that it wouldn’t last.
“When you’re not out there and you’re not with the people, you don’t get a good sense of (the mood),'” George W. Bush told Updegrove.
The book goes on to add that George H.W. Bush admitted that he voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
As for his son:
“I voted ‘None of the Above’ for president, and Republican down ballot in 2016,” he said.
He went on to say that concern with the former secretary of state’s judgment kept him from following his father’s lead. He told the author in the weeks leading up to Election Day, “The question for the country to decide — on both candidates, by the way — is to what extent should we be insisting upon integrity and solid character.”
The book isn’t just about what the Bush family thinks of Donald Trump. It explores the relationship between the father and son, as well as taking on rumors of how the second Bush administration was operated.
For example, speaking to the rumor that Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld held undue influence over the direction of the nation, George W. Bush is quoted as saying, bluntly, that they “didn’t make one f**king decision.”
Discussing that quote, Updegrove told CNN, “I understand his frustration, because at the time there was the perception that Dick Cheney was the acting president. That Cheney was sort of a Machiavellian puppet master. But, in fact, George W. Bush had had a lifetime of making bold decisions. He has this natural confidence in himself as a leader. And if you talk to those around him, they have confidence in his leadership. And so, this notion that Cheney was making the decisions is ludicrous.”
Finally, what about that title? The Bushes weren’t the last Republican presidents. We have a Republican president now, right?
Yeah. Maybe not.
“George W. Bush himself said in 2016 privately, and then to me, that ‘you know, I fear that I will be the last Republican president.’ And it wasn’t just about Hillary Clinton becoming president, as the Republican Party was having a difficult time finding itself. It was because Donald Trump represented everything that the Bushes abhorred,” the author told CNN.
When asked his thoughts on George W. Bush’s fear, Updegrove told CNN, “There’s no question that I think there’s a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. And the Republicans have to figure out who they are, and what they stand for.”
In other words, this has ceased to be the party of Coolidge and Reagan. This is now the Trump party, where intellect, principle, and civility are not just discouraged, but reviled.
And there may not be a way back, once the cancer has settled in.