Presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush are pulling no punches as it regards one of their successors, Donald John Trump.
Bush 41 calls Trump a “blowhard”; Bush 43 says Trump doesn’t understand the impact of occupying the world’s most powerful public office.
They are actual Republicans. Trump, as I understand their interpretation, is a quintessential Republican In Name Only, a RINO. The former presidents believe the GOP is in trouble with Trump as its titular party leader.
A new book, “The Last Republicans” by Mark Updegrove, details the views of the former presidents regarding the current Oval Office occupant. It’s rare, indeed, to hear ex-presidents comment at all on their successors, but this is no ordinary time in American politics.
I mean, the country elected someone to the presidency in 2016 with no prior public service. None! He came from the world of big business, beauty pageants and reality TV. His entire professional career was aimed at self-enrichment and self-promotion.
And that gets to the heart of Bush 43’s critique of Trump as someone who doesn’t understand what it means to be president. Trump spoke during the campaign of being his own best adviser, as he touted his intelligence and steel-trap memory. President Bush 43 sees that as a serious indicator of Trump’s lack of understanding of the office he occupies.
The interviews were conducted before Trump even became the Republican nominee for president. Bush 41 was leery of Trump from the beginning and has said in blunt terms that “I don’t like him.”
The White House, of course, has returned the volley, saying that the Bushes’ concern about the future of the GOP is more of an indictment on their leadership than it is about Donald Trump.
Sure thing. Except that the guy in the White House ran as a Republican only because he saw it as providing the path of least resistance to his form of populism/nativism/isolationism.
The guy who was elected because he “tells it like it is” is now getting a serious dose of his own rhetorical medicine by two seasoned Republicans who know the ropes, know about the office they held between them for 12 years and who understand the consequences of electing someone with no knowledge of how to govern.