George Bush, Sr. has finally spoken publicly about his disapproval for former Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s performance while working in George W. Bush’s administration.
In interviews for his biography that is set to be on shelves next week, Bush 41 openly talked about how he felt Cheney was preoccupied with building “his own empire” and that his “hard-line” demeanor and rhetoric during the height of the War on Terror had a negative influence on Bush 43’s presidency.
“Hot rhetoric is pretty easy to get headlines, but it doesn’t necessarily solve the diplomatic problem,” Bush, Sr. said.
The former president also commented that Rumsfeld was an “arrogant fellow” who didn’t leave room for other comrades and opponents’ ideas and strategies.
Bush maintained that he was proud of his own son, but also said that he felt Bush 43 gave too much control to Cheney and Rumsfeld in their roles.
Entitled, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, the biography was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham and is being published by Random House. While the elder Bush is ruffling feathers with his perspectives on the track records of other politicians, his beliefs on gay marriage as well as the beef between Nancy Reagan and his wife Barbara, Bush’s other son Jeb is struggling in the current 2016 race for the Oval Office.
Bush is now 91-years-old and is suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Meacham, once an editor for Newsweek, has been doing research on the book for years citing interviews he held with the president, in addition to diary entries from Bush 41 and his wife.
Bush 43 said he was unaware of his father’s beliefs on his time in office.
“He certainly never expressed that opinion to me, either during the presidency or after,” Bush 43 said. He went on, saying his dad “would never say to me: ‘Hey, you need to rein in Cheney. He’s ruining your administration.’ It would be out of character for him to do that. And in any event, I disagree with his characterization of what was going on. I made the decisions. This was my philosophy.”
Cheney also said that he did not know of Bush Sr.’s disapproval for his performance in Bush 43’s administration, saying: “I never heard any of this from 41…He would sometimes stick his head in and we’d talk, but he never indicated anything like this.” Cheney, however, does admit that he became tougher in his demeanor and more prone to war rhetoric at the onset of the Iraq War.
Rumsfeld responded to the elder Bush’s comments too, though he appeared to deflect the criticism from himself. In an interview with NBC, Rumsfeld said: “Bush 41 is getting up in years and misjudges Bush 43, who I found made his own decisions.”
[SOURCE: NY Times]