George H.W. Bush Called Trump A 'Blowhard' And Said, 'I Don't Like Him'

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An upcoming book shows that former President George H.W. Bush did not mince words when asked about President Donald Trump, back before Trump had won the election.

“I don’t like him,” Bush told historian Mark Updegrove in May 2016, according to The New York Times. “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.” Bush added that Trump appeared to be driven by “a certain ego.”

Updegrove’s book, “The Last Republicans,” deals with the relationship between the senior Bush and his son, former President George W. Bush. The title was inspired by a quote from the younger Bush, who told him during the 2016 election, “I’m worried that I will be the last Republican president.”

“And it wasn’t just about Hillary Clinton becoming president, as the Republican Party was having a difficult time finding itself,” Updegrove told CNN. “It was because Donald Trump represented everything that the Bushes abhorred.”

The elder Bush also said that he voted for Clinton in 2016, while his son said he voted for “none of the above” as president and Republican candidates on the rest of the ballot.

Their newly revealed criticisms of Trump come just weeks after George W. Bush appeared to criticize the president at a New York policy seminar, though he didn’t mention Trump by name.

“We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty,” Bush said. “We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America.”

The White House responded to news of the criticisms Saturday morning, saying in a statement, “If one Presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had.”

Though liberals have historically been sharp critics of the younger Bush — for reasons including the decision to invade Iraq, a slow and widely panned response to Hurricane Katrina, and his administration’s wholesale embrace of torture — his star has risen in the Trump era. In the wake of Trump’s frequent inflammatory comments and constant ad hominem attacks on Twitter, many people seem to long for a president who maintained a relatively more dignified demeanor.

An October survey showed that 51 percent of Democrats hold at least a somewhat favorable view of Bush. On Friday, former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann — who has previously called Bush a fascist and a liar — said he owed Bush an apology and would prefer a third Bush term to Trump as president. Last year, the public went wild with glee over a photo showing Bush and Michelle Obama enjoying a brief embrace.

All the newfound nostalgia seems to ignore just how terrible many people ― especially Democrats ― thought Bush’s presidency was at the time. For many, his lasting legacies are a disastrous Iraq war and the spread of chaos in the Middle East, as well as the financial crisis beginning during his second term. Some have argued those very conditions helped fuel the rise of the far right in the United States and abroad, paving the way for Trump to get elected.

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<strong>"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."  </strong> -- September 2000, explaining his energy policies at an event in Michigan.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." -- September 2000, explaining his energy policies at an event in Michigan. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
<strong>"Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?"  </strong> -- January 2000, during a campaign event in South Carolina.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, file)
"Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?" -- January 2000, during a campaign event in South Carolina. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, file)
<strong>"They misunderestimated the compassion of our country. I think they misunderestimated the will and determination of the commander in chief, too."  </strong> -- Sept. 26, 2001, in Langley, Va. Bush was referring to the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks.   <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
"They misunderestimated the compassion of our country. I think they misunderestimated the will and determination of the commander in chief, too." -- Sept. 26, 2001, in Langley, Va. Bush was referring to the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
<strong>"There's no doubt in my mind, not one doubt in my mind, that we will fail."  </strong> -- Oct. 4, 2001, in Washington. Bush was remarking on a back-to-work plan after the terrorist attacks.   <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
"There's no doubt in my mind, not one doubt in my mind, that we will fail." -- Oct. 4, 2001, in Washington. Bush was remarking on a back-to-work plan after the terrorist attacks. Source: The Associated Press (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
<strong>"It would be a mistake for the United States Senate to allow any kind of human cloning to come out of that chamber."  </strong> -- April 10, 2002, at the White House, as Bush urged Senate passage of a broad ban on cloning.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (MANNY CENETA/AFP/Getty Images)
"It would be a mistake for the United States Senate to allow any kind of human cloning to come out of that chamber." -- April 10, 2002, at the White House, as Bush urged Senate passage of a broad ban on cloning. Source: The Associated Press (MANNY CENETA/AFP/Getty Images)
<strong>"I want to thank the dozens of welfare-to-work stories, the actual examples of people who made the firm and solemn commitment to work hard to embetter themselves."  </strong> -- April 18, 2002, at the White House.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
"I want to thank the dozens of welfare-to-work stories, the actual examples of people who made the firm and solemn commitment to work hard to embetter themselves." -- April 18, 2002, at the White House. Source: The Associated Press (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
<strong>"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on _ shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."  </strong> -- Sept. 17, 2002, in Nashville, Tenn.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on _ shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." -- Sept. 17, 2002, in Nashville, Tenn. Source: The Associated Press (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
<strong>"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." </strong>  -- Aug. 5, 2004, at the signing ceremony for a defense spending bill.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -- Aug. 5, 2004, at the signing ceremony for a defense spending bill. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
<strong>"Our most abundant energy source is coal. We have enough coal to last for 250 years, yet coal also prevents an environmental challenge."  </strong>  -- April 20, 2005, in Washington.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
"Our most abundant energy source is coal. We have enough coal to last for 250 years, yet coal also prevents an environmental challenge." -- April 20, 2005, in Washington. Source: The Associated Press (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
<strong>"Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."  </strong> -- Sept. 6, 2004, at a rally in Poplar Bluff, Mo.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
"Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." -- Sept. 6, 2004, at a rally in Poplar Bluff, Mo. Source: The Associated Press (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
<strong>"We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job."  </strong> --Sept. 20, 2005, in Gulfport, Miss.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
"We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job." --Sept. 20, 2005, in Gulfport, Miss. Source: The Associated Press (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
<strong>"I can't wait to join you in the joy of welcoming neighbors back into neighborhoods, and small businesses up and running, and cutting those ribbons that somebody is creating new jobs."  </strong>  -- Sept. 5, 2005, when Bush met with residents of Poplarville, Miss., in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
"I can't wait to join you in the joy of welcoming neighbors back into neighborhoods, and small businesses up and running, and cutting those ribbons that somebody is creating new jobs." -- Sept. 5, 2005, when Bush met with residents of Poplarville, Miss., in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Source: The Associated Press (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
<strong>"It was not always a given that the United States and America would have a close relationship. After all, 60 years we were at war 60 years ago we were at war."  </strong> -- June 29, 2006, at the White House, where Bush met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
"It was not always a given that the United States and America would have a close relationship. After all, 60 years we were at war 60 years ago we were at war." -- June 29, 2006, at the White House, where Bush met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
<strong>"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die."</strong>  -- Dec. 7, 2006, in a joint appearance with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die." -- Dec. 7, 2006, in a joint appearance with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Source: The Associated Press (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
<strong>"These are big achievements for this country, and the people of Bulgaria ought to be proud of the achievements that they have achieved." </strong> -- June 11, 2007, in Sofia, Bulgaria.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds/file)
"These are big achievements for this country, and the people of Bulgaria ought to be proud of the achievements that they have achieved." -- June 11, 2007, in Sofia, Bulgaria. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds/file)
<strong>"Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit."  </strong>  -- September 2007, in Sydney, Australia, where Bush was attending an APEC summit.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)
"Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit." -- September 2007, in Sydney, Australia, where Bush was attending an APEC summit. Source: The Associated Press (TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)
<strong>"Thank you, Your Holiness. Awesome speech."  </strong> -- April 16, 2008, at a ceremony welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to the White House.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
"Thank you, Your Holiness. Awesome speech." -- April 16, 2008, at a ceremony welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to the White House. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
<strong>"The fact that they purchased the machine meant somebody had to make the machine. And when somebody makes a machine, it means there's jobs at the machine-making place."</strong>  -- May 27, 2008, in Mesa, Ariz.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
"The fact that they purchased the machine meant somebody had to make the machine. And when somebody makes a machine, it means there's jobs at the machine-making place." -- May 27, 2008, in Mesa, Ariz. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
<strong> "And they have no disregard for human life."</strong>  -- July 15, 2008, at the White House. Bush was referring to enemy fighters in Afghanistan.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)
"And they have no disregard for human life." -- July 15, 2008, at the White House. Bush was referring to enemy fighters in Afghanistan. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)
<strong>"I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office."</strong>  -- June 26, 2008, during a Rose Garden news briefing.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (Photo by by Ken Cedeno-Pool/Getty Images)
"I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office." -- June 26, 2008, during a Rose Garden news briefing. Source: The Associated Press (Photo by by Ken Cedeno-Pool/Getty Images)
<strong>"Throughout our history, the words of the Declaration have inspired immigrants from around the world to set sail to our shores. These immigrants have helped transform 13 small colonies into a great and growing nation of more than 300 people."</strong>  -- July 4, 2008 in Virginia.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
"Throughout our history, the words of the Declaration have inspired immigrants from around the world to set sail to our shores. These immigrants have helped transform 13 small colonies into a great and growing nation of more than 300 people." -- July 4, 2008 in Virginia. Source: The Associated Press (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
<strong>"The people in Louisiana must know that all across our country there's a lot of prayer _ prayer for those whose lives have been turned upside down. And I'm one of them. It's good to come down here." </strong>  -- Sept. 3, 2008, at an emergency operations center in Baton Rouge, La., after Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
"The people in Louisiana must know that all across our country there's a lot of prayer _ prayer for those whose lives have been turned upside down. And I'm one of them. It's good to come down here." -- Sept. 3, 2008, at an emergency operations center in Baton Rouge, La., after Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
<strong>"This thaw -- took a while to thaw, it's going to take a while to unthaw." </strong>  -- Oct. 20, 2008, in Alexandria, La., as he discussed the economy and frozen credit markets.  <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/bushisms-over-the-years_n_154969.html" target="_blank">Source: The Associated Press</a> (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)
"This thaw -- took a while to thaw, it's going to take a while to unthaw." -- Oct. 20, 2008, in Alexandria, La., as he discussed the economy and frozen credit markets. Source: The Associated Press (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)

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