White House questions Bush legacies as feud with Trump intensifies

Key Points
  • Former President George H.W. Bush calls President Donald Trump a 'blowhard' in an upcoming book, according to media reports.
  • His son, former President George W. Bush, questioned Trump's understanding of the job of president.
  • The White House lashed back at the Bushes, questioning their legacy, CNN reported.
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The White House raised questions Saturday about the legacy of both President George H.W. Bush and his son, after reports revealed disparaging comments the former presidents made in an upcoming book.

The response from the Trump administration came amid reports recounting how the elder Bush called Trump a "blowhard" who was only interested in stoking his own ego. Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush told the author of the book, "The Last Republicans," that Trump fans the public's anger rather than looking for solutions.

"If one presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had," the White House said, in a statement issued to CNN.


Separately, the White House told The Hill that voters clearly signaled they wanted a change by electing Donald Trump as president, stoking what appears to be a growing feud between the former presidents.

"The American people voted to elect an outsider who is capable of implementing real, positive, and needed change — instead of a lifelong politician beholden to special interests," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to The Hill.

"If they were interested in continuing decades of costly mistakes, another establishment politician more concerned with putting politics over people would have won," she added.

According to a report in The New York Times, at one point the younger Bush tells Mark Updegrove, the book's author, "I'm worried that I will be the last Republican president." That remark became the inspiration for the title of the book, which will be published Nov. 14 by HarperCollins.

The phrase had a double meaning. At the time, it may have reflected Bush's concern that Trump's Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, might win the election. However, later it reflected the sentiment the younger Bush had that Trump didn't share the same values that he and his father had, Updegrove told the Times.

George W. Bush even questioned Trump's understanding of the job, the report said.

Both Bushes also said they did not vote for Trump. According to CNN, the elder Bush voted for Clinton, while his son left the top of the ticket blank.

Updegrove told CNN that the Bush father and son relationship is what drove him to write the book.