WASHINGTON, DC — Them sound like fighting words to us.
The White House is blasting both Bush presidents after the two made stinging comments about President Trump in a new book.
Former President George H.W. Bush delivered a blunt assessment of Trump in historian Mark Updegrove’s new book, titled “The Last Republicans,” saying, “He’s a blowhard.” And former President George W. Bush also had harsh words for his Republican successor: “This guy doesn’t know what it means to be president.”
“If one presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had,” a White House official told CNN. “And that begins with the Iraq war, one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history.”
“President Trump remains focused on keeping his promises to the American people by bringing back jobs, promoting an ‘America First’ foreign policy and standing up for the forgotten men and women of our great county,” the official said.
Those comments mark the first time the former presidents are speaking out about Trump in such stark terms. Both men went on the record to give Updegrove their candid assessment of Trump, as well as rare insight into their thoughts on the 2016 presidential race as the drama unfolded.
The most critical comments about Trump came from the elder Bush, now 93, who told Updegrove in May 2016, “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.”
The author went on to ask George H.W. Bush what he thought Trump was seeking in running for president, and the former Navy war hero responded by saying that Trump had “a certain ego.” Though George H.W. Bush told the author he thought Trump could unite the country, he said it would require “humility,” which the former President told Updegrove was a challenge for Trump.
“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.”