George HW Bush calls Trump a 'blowhard' in book 'The Last Republicans'
George HW Bush has followed his son, George W Bush, in criticising Donald Trump. The 41st president was more direct than the 43rd, however, saying in a new book that the 45th president is a "blowhard" who is "driven by a certain ego".
The New York Times reported the comments, which are contained in a forthcoming book, The Last Republicans by Mark K Updegrove.
"I don't like him," the elder Bush is quoted as saying in May 2016. "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 gave a speech last month which was largely seen as a coded criticism of Trump, whom he did not name. "Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children," the former president said.
Those remarks fed into a brewing Republican civil war, prompting a scornful response from Steve Bannon, the former Trump strategist now back at the hard-right Breitbart News website and planning primary challenges against establishment figures.
After a 2016 Republican primary marked by Trump's harsh attacks on Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who many thought would be the third member of the family to reach the White House, neither President Bush voted for Trump. George HW Bush told Updegrove he voted for Hillary Clinton, the Times reported. George W Bush said he voted for "none of the above". He also told the author he first thought Trump's candidacy wouldn't last, then worried that he himself would prove to be "the last Republican president".
The younger Bush was also famously reported to have passed comment on Trump's "American carnage" inaugural speech in January, labelling it "some weird shit". Updegrove told the Times George W Bush's values "and those shared by his father and Ronald Reagan, they are very much in contrast to the values of the Republican party today, in particular the platform that Donald Trump ran on, which is essentially protectionism and a certain xenophobia."
Trump was in Hawaii on Saturday, preparing to fly to Asia. He did not immediately address the Times report on Twitter.