Politico reports George W. Bush offered unkind words regarding Texas Senator Ted Cruz — a major rival to his brother, Jeb’s — presidential campaign hopes.
Bush 43 unloads on Ted Cruz at a fundraiser, in ways he would never criticize Obama, Hillary, or anyone else. The… https://t.co/baoqgEQfyB
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) October 20, 2015
Bush let 100 of Jeb’s donors in on a political secret — it’s Cruz who sticks in his craw, not frontrunner Donald Trump.
Politico claims it spoke to more than a half-dozen attendees and they claim GW said: “I just don’t like the guy.”
A donor told Politico: “I was like, ‘Holy sh-t, did he just say that?’ I remember looking around and seeing that other people were also looking around surprised.”
“I just don’t like the guy,” George W. Bush said about Ted Cruz https://t.co/YRxTYUNBdW | Getty pic.twitter.com/AUFTdqD9lP
— POLITICO (@politico) October 20, 2015
Aside from this being typical campaign speak, what’s at stake here is really about a local Texas political fight. The Bush’s worked against Cruz in his Cinderella-like road to the Senate. They supported Cruz’s opponent in the Senate primary.
“He said he thought Cruz was going to be a pretty formidable candidate against Jeb, especially in Texas and across the South,” a donor told Politico.
Jeb is slowly watching hard dollars go to Trump, Dr. Ben Carson and Cruz. The Super PACs and heavy GOP Establishment donors are also taking a wait-and-see approach with Jeb as he continues to slide down the GOP primary polls.
So this doesn’t come as a surprise on many levels.
But really, Cruz is despised by the GOP Establishment because he calls them out for what they are: Big Government Thieves. Until Barack Obama came along, George W. presided — along with a GOP Establishment-led Congress — over the most profligate spending period in American governmental history. The fact that Obama could even top Bush’s two-term tenure is a testament to how heavily he pressed his foot to the accelerator. It’s also an indicator as to how the GOP Congress — which has owned the House since 2010 and the Senate since 2014 — agrees with big spending.
How is it possible Republicans get drawn into these ridiculous #Alinsky tricks and end up talking about George Bush? Focus on Clinton!
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) October 20, 2015
Apparently, good ‘ol G-Dub, doesn’t like the company Cruz keeps. He’s not fond of the idea of Cruz forging an alliance with Trump. And he sees Cruz’s political motivation as self-serving where as the Bush dynasty has gone about their business for self-described altruistic reasons.
However, a Bush spokesman issued a different perspective on the evening:
“The first words out of President Bush’s mouth last night were that Jeb is going to earn the nomination, win the election, and be a great president,” Freddy Ford, George W. Bush’s spokesman told Politico. “He does not view Sen. Cruz as Gov. Bush’s most serious rival.”
Jeb has been battling Trump and Rubio more than Cruz.
Despite the caustic statements, two moments of high ground emerged.
First, Cruz’s response to the story offered nothing but praise for his time in serving on G-Dub’s campaigns.
“I have great respect for George W Bush, and was proud to work on his 2000 campaign and in his administration,” his campaign told Politico. “It’s no surprise that President Bush is supporting his brother and attacking the candidates he believes pose a threat to his campaign. I have no intention of reciprocating. I met my wife Heidi working on his campaign, and so I will always be grateful to him.”
Dont focus on George Bush not liking @tedcruz -focus on @TedCruz ‘s response. Pure grace.
— IrritatedWoman™ (@irritatedwoman) October 20, 2015
And while G-Dub’s comments appeared harsh, he intimated he would support Cruz should he win the GOP nomination.
According to Politico’s sources Bush said: “He’s a young, first-term senator; I’m not sure if that qualifies you to be president. Of course, if he wins [the nomination], I’ll be back here next year telling you that doesn’t matter.”