David J. Phillip / AP
Former presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush are offering their harshest public opinions of President Trump yet — including the elder Bush’s description of the current commander-in-chief as a “blowhard.”
Those comments appear in a new book on the father-son duo from historian Mark Updegrove, titled “The Last Republicans.” The former presidents have alluded to their thoughts on Mr. Trump’s leadership before. Last month, George W. Bush said Updegrove spoke with CNN about his book, providing some of the text.” under Mr. Trump. But in Updegrove’s book, set to release Nov. 14, the two men offer their bluntest comments yet.
“I don’t like him,” the elder Bush told the author in May 2016 after it was clear Mr. Trump would secure the GOP nomination. “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.”
George W. Bush was not much softer in his comments about Mr. Trump: “This guy doesn’t know what it means to be president,” he says in the book.
Neither former president voted for Mr. Trump, according to the Updegrove. George H.W. Bush voted for Hillary Clinton, while his son didn’t vote for anyone in the presidential election and only voted for down-ballot Republicans.
Updergrove told CNN that Mr. Trump is “everything that the Bush family is not.”
“He’s a blowhard and he said, ‘I don’t like him, plain and simple,'” Updegrove told CNN. “‘And I’m not excited about him being a leader,’ was his quote. And if you look at the Bush family, it makes perfect sense. Donald Trump is everything that the Bush family is not. George Bush grew up thinking about the greater good. Donald Trump, I think is is manifestly narcissistic.”
Determining what the Bushes think doesn’t require much guess work, Updegrove said.
“I think it’s pretty clear if you look at their records and their views, politically, that I’m going to quote George H. W. Bush, they’re ‘not excited about Donald Trump being our leader,'” Updegrove told CNN. “That’s not a, that’s not a leap of faith. That’s pretty clear. And I think the most clear demonstration we get of that recently is Charlottesville. The Bushes came out with a joint tweet, which they had never done in the past, condemning bigotry and anti-Semitism and all the things that were on display in Charlottesville among the white supremacists. That was a clear betrayal of American values and the Bushes came with that joint sentiment. I think that spoke resoundingly about the void in leadership that they were seeing from the White House.”
The elder Bush recently apologized after allegations that he inappropriately touched women.
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