President Trump has long worked to make it clear that he considers himself above partisan political concerns, preferring something worse — his own personal concerns. Not only does he not seem to care about the priorities of the average American, but he also doesn’t show much concern for the priorities and stability of his own party.
He attacks members of his own party on a regular basis, with his targets including Tennessee Senator Bob Corker and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, among others.
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Showing yet again just how volatile the present state of national politics really is thanks to Trump, both former Bush presidents have now spoken out yet again against him, indicating an utter dissatisfaction with the course of his administration.
The occasion for their new comments about the Trump Administration is the upcoming release of a book about them. (Called The Last Republicans and written by Mark K. Updegrove, that book is out November 14.)
As CNN reports, Updegrove has been cooperating with the Bushes for some time on the production of this book.
Back in May 2016, the elder Bush told him, speaking of Trump:
‘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.’
Pressed at the time by the author, George H.W. Bush explained that he felt as though the belligerent businessman turned political leader has “a certain ego,” and that it would be difficult for him to find the humility inside him required to serve as president.
The younger Bush was similarly critical of the man currently serving as president, quipping that “you can either exploit the anger, or incite it,” as he indicated that he felt Trump had done. The option “to come up with ideas to deal with it,” as Bush put it, doesn’t seem to have occurred to Trump.
Among other points of contention, Bush was reportedly taken aback when Trump said that he is his own adviser in the context of foreign policy, telling Updegrove: “Wow, this guy doesn’t know what it means to be president.”
Updegrove has an idea about why the Bushes are not on board with Trump. Even though the two are ideologically aligned — or, at least are in the same party — Trump exemplifies everything that the Bushes are not, at least in appearances.
As he put it:
‘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 is manifestly narcissistic. It’s part of his brand. And that brand is the antithesis of the Bush brand.’
Bush specifically repudiated Trump’s narcissism, telling Updegrove: “As you know from looking at my family, [humility] is a certain heritage. That’s what they expect, and we’re not seeing that [in Trump].”
Neither of the former Bush presidents voted for Trump. The elder one voted for Hillary Clinton, and George W. Bush did not cast a vote in the presidential election.
This is not the first time that former presidents, including George W. Bush, have gone after Trump.
In the middle of last month, Bush commented that “bigotry seems emboldened” and “our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication” — although he did not mention Trump by name.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was pressed about Bush’s comments at a press conference the next day, and somehow, she found it in herself to insist that Bush wasn’t talking about Trump, although it’s not like there are any other presidents pushing bigotry and conspiracy theories.