President George H.W. Bush and his son President George W. Bush are remarkably candid in their distaste for their successor President Donald. J Trump in a new book, reports the New York Times.
Mark K. Updegrove’s new book, “The Last Republicans,” details the dynastic power and influence the Bush family once had over the Republican party and their concern over the impact President Trump is having on the GOP.
The Times piece gives details into the forthcoming book, such as Bush senior calling Trump a “blow hard.”
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.”
“If you’re angry with the powers that be,” he added, “you’re angry with the so-called establishment, and there’s nothing more established than having a father and brother that have been president.”
President Trump by all measures handed Jeb Bush, brother of George and former governor of Florida, a beat down in the 2016 GOP primary. Trump branded Jeb early on as "Low Energy Jeb" and the statesman was never able to recover. Jeb was forced to drop out of the race after the South Carolina primary. One Trump supporter echoed the 43rd president's sentiments on anger towards the GOP establishment, telling reporters after the South Carolina primary, "We're voting with our middle finger."
As Updegrove’s book notes, the two former presidents are concerned with the legacy of their party that they have spent the majority of their lives building. This led to a brutal response today from the White House.
"If one Presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had," the White House told CNN. The statement went on to criticize George W. Bush for his decision to enter the Iraq war as "one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history."
Updegrove's book also comments on President George W. Bush's resentment towards the press for insinuating that he somehow was a shadow president, controlled by Vice President Dick Cheney.
"The younger Mr. Bush resented the implication that anyone was steering him. “The fact that there was any doubt in anyone’s mind about who the president was blows my mind,” he said. He added that Mr. Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld, his defense secretary, “didn’t make one fucking decision.”
But he insisted Mr. Cheney served him well and said that the vice president’s sometimes dark reputation was inevitable. “I understand the way the system works,” he said. “Somebody has to be the bad guy.”
One could make the argument that if President George W. Bush had the kind of "punch back" attitude exhibited by Donald Trump against the press, then he could have had more control over his legacy as it was happening.
"The Last Republicans" will be released on November 14th, 2017.