White House assaults legacies of each Bush presidents after reviews they refused to vote for ‘blowhard’ Trump

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Washington • The White House on Saturday disparaged the legacies of the one two residing Republican presidents to precede Donald Trump, after reviews that each males castigated Trump in interviews final yr and refused to vote for him.

Former president George H.W. Bush mocked then-candidate Trump as a “blowhard” and voted for a Democratic president, whereas the youthful Bush anxious aloud that Trump would destroy the thought of a Republican president in all however title, in line with “The Last Republicans,” which is scheduled to go on sale later this month.

The White House responded after quotes from the e book had been revealed on Saturday, getting into a unprecedented disagreement involving three presidents from the identical occasion.

“If one Presidential candidate can disbademble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had,” the White House wrote to CNN. It referred to as the youthful Bush’s determination to wage conflict on Iraq “one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history.”

The e book’s writer, Mark Updegrove, interviewed the Bushes final yr — lengthy earlier than Trump’s inauguration — and located neither needed to see what they described as a rough, populist campaigner turn into president.

“I don’t like him,” George H.W. Bush instructed Updegrove earlier than the election, in line with the e book. “I don’t know much about him, but I know he’s a blowhard. And I’m not too excited about him being [our] leader.”

A month earlier, Trump had famously cited himself as his personal finest overseas coverage adviser. “Because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things,” mentioned the candidate, who had no diplomatic or army expertise.

Upon studying this, Updegrove wrote, George W. Bush thought to himself: “Wow, this guy really doesn’t understand the job of president.”

Those feedback got here as Trump neared the Republican nomination for president, having vanquished most different contenders, together with one other member of the Bush household, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, whom Trump repeatedly mocked as “low energy.”

George W. Bush did not anticipate Trump to win the overall election, Updegrove instructed CNN in an interview about his new e book.

“When Trump started to rise, I think he became concerned because he saw this populism of Donald Trump getting in the way of America’s position in the world,” Updegrove mentioned.

As he watched Trump’s marketing campaign, the youthful Bush feared he — Bush — would “be the last Republican president,” mentioned the writer, who based the National Medal of Honor Museum this yr, after a number of years as director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum.

“And it wasn’t just about Hillary Clinton becoming president,” he mentioned. “It was because Donald Trump represented everything that the Bushes abhorred.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a campaign event in Hartford, Conn., Friday, April 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures throughout a marketing campaign occasion in Hartford, Conn., Friday, April 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Trump stood for rudeness, worldwide isolationism and weak management within the eyes of the Bushes, in line with Updegrove — reservations echoed by many institution Republicans. In September, George W. Bush gave speech wherein he did not point out Trump however lamented these identical vices — and politics that “seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”

But Trump, who has made greater than 1,300 false or deceptive claims in lower than a yr and nearly consistently insults his many rivals, did win the presidency.

It is uncommon within the trendy political period to see former presidents to overtly criticize their successors.

But “this is all different with Donald Trump,” mentioned presidential historian Douglas Brinkley.

“It allows us to understand how much a renegade Trump is in the Republican Party,” he mentioned. “Trump represents the outsider, and the Bush family are quintessential insiders.”

The Bushes have despised Trump for many years, Brinkley mentioned, citing reviews that the elder Bush snubbed Trump as his working mate within the 1992 election.

Trump had his flip in 2016, when he ridiculed Jeb Bush out of the race and campaigned in opposition to George W. Bush’s determination to wage conflict in Iraq.

“No Democrat has criticized the war in Iraq with as much anger as Donald Trump,” Brinkley mentioned. “How can George W. Bush resurrect his post-presidency career when the sitting president is telling everyone every day how awful he is?”

So the historian wasn’t shocked to see Trump’s previous marketing campaign feuds embroil his White House in 2017, although he needed to badume again greater than half a century to quote a comparable instance. (President Truman as soon as mentioned soon-to-be-president Eisenhower knew no extra about politics “than a pig knows about Sunday.”)

And not solely did the Bush presidents lament the prospect of a Trump presidency in 2016 – Updegrove wrote that additionally they shunned their occasion’s nominee on Election Day.

“I voted ‘None of the Above’ for president,” the youthful Bush instructed the writer, in line with his e book.

The elder Bush mentioned he voted for Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton, a Democrat.

In a press release to The Washington Post, Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn’t repeat the White House’s direct badaults on the Bush legacies from earlier within the day. But, she wrote, if voters “were interested in continuing decades of costly mistakes, another establishment politician more concerned with putting politics over people would have won.”

A Bush household spokesman answered questions on Updegrove’s e book and the White House badertion with a easy reply:

“No comment, but thanks.”

The three different residing ex presidents — all Democrats — have expressed their very own points with Trump since he launched his marketing campaign, and in some circumstances persevering with into his presidency.

While nonetheless president, Barack Obama made his opinion clear not lengthy earlier than Election Day, in a marketing campaign speech for Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton.

“This is somebody who vilifies minorities, vilifies immigrants, vilifies people of Muslim faith, makes fun of Americans with disabilities,” Obama mentioned. (He did not point out that Trump had additionally been going after him for years.)

“Do you want somebody to be your voice who on tape brags about how being famous allows him to get away with badual badault?” Obama requested the gang. “Who calls women ‘pigs,’ or ‘dogs,’ or ‘slobs’ and grades them on a scale of one to 10?”

When Trump gained the election, Obama’s tone shortly modified.

He urged the nation to place apart political variations and root for the brand new president’s success, and left Trump a pleasant handwritten letter, wishing him” the very best as you embark on this great adventure” and providing what badist he may give.

The truce did not final lengthy. Not two months into his presidency, Trump made baseless accusations that Obama wiretapped him at Trump Tower throughout the election. And Obama often badaults Trump administration insurance policies — if not the person himself.

“It’s certainly frustrating that we have to mobilize every couple of months to keep our leaders from inflicting real human suffering on our constituents,” he mentioned at a fundraiser in September, as he fought Trump’s effort to repeal his administration’s well being care insurance policies.

Trump would not look like any chummier with former president Bill Clinton, whose spouse he defeated within the 2016 race. Clinton and Trump had been in a public spat as just lately as December — every accusing the opposite of normal ignorance.

Of all the previous presidents, the one Trump as soon as referred to as “the worst President in the history of the United States” has these days been kindest to him.

In an interview with the New York Times final month, Jimmy Carter accused the media of being “harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about.” He mentioned if the United States had receded as a world chief beneath President Trump, it had already been doing so for a few years.

Carter even mentioned he’d supplied his providers to the Trump administration.

But because the Times wrote, the ex-president had harsher phrases for one more successor, Obama, maybe signaling a technique or one other, the period of presidential friendliness is over.

The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker contributed to this report.



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