“I Don’t Like Him:” Bush Presidents Worry Trump Will Torpedo the G.O.P.
Last month, former president George W. Bush took a leaf from Michelle Obama‘s book, decrying the current climate of “nationalism distorted into nativism” that has seeped into the Republican Party without once mentioning Donald Trump‘s name. The speech was a marked escalation for the former president, who, aside from an alleged remark that Trump‘s inauguration was “some weird shit,” had been largely reticent on the subject of 45. Now, however, both W. and his father, George Bush Sr., are ramping up their criticism of Trump, openly calling him a “blowhard” and worrying out loud that he is in the process of leveling the Republican party they built over the course of two lifetimes.
In The Last Republicans, Mark K. Updegrove examines the relationship between Bushes Jr. and Sr. while delving into their perception of Trump and their concerns for the party’s future. According to The New York Times, its name is derived from something George W. Bush told the author during the 2016 presidential campaign: “I’m worried that I will be the last Republican president.” (Neither Bush voted for Trump: Bush Sr. voted for Hillary Clinton, and the younger Bush told Updegrove he voted for “none of the above.”)
“At the time, I think he was concerned that Hillary Clinton would win,” Updegrove told the Times. “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.”
Bush Sr. was even harsher in his criticism of Trump, telling Updegrove in May 2016, “I don’t like him,” he said. “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.” The 41st president added that he believed Trump is motivated not by a desire to serve the country but by “a certain ego.”
And while neither Bush is impressed by the current president, George W. Bush said that he now understand the mechanisms that lead to Trump‘s election, and not, say, the election of his brother, Jeb. “You can either exploit the anger, incite it,” he told Updegrove, “or you can come up with ideas to deal with it.” Although be believes Jeb Bush came up with viable solutions, he said they “didn’t fit with the mood.” “If you’re angry with the powers that be, you’re angry with the so-called establishment,” he added. “And there’s nothing more established than having a father and brother that have been president.”
In response to the criticism, a White House official told CNN on Saturday that, “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.”
via Vanity Fair http://bit.ly/2xvuIXg
November 4, 2017 at 09:35AM