Former President George H.W. Bush has previously been tight-lipped about the presidency of his son, George W. Bush. However, he has broken his silence in his upcoming biography, “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.”
Researched and penned by Pulitzer-prize winner Jon Meacham, the book covers the life of the 41st U.S. president, The New York Times reports.
New clips from the book reveal that Bush Sr. has an unfavorable view of two of his son’s most trusted advisors, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Cheney had served as H.W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense, but the former president says that after assuming the vice presidency, Cheney “became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with.”
Bush Sr. maintains that after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Cheney became “Iron-ass. His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East.”
H.W. Bush claims that his son made a mistake in letting “letting Cheney bring in kind of his own State Department… the buck stops here,” The New York Times reports.
The former president speculates that Cheney was actually pushed into tougher policy by his wife and daughter, Lynne and Liz Cheney.
The former Vice President has denied this.
“It’s his view, perhaps, of what happened, but my family was not conspiring to somehow turn me into a tougher, more hardnosed [sic] individual,” Cheney tells Fox News. “I got there all by myself.”
Bush Sr. also has harsh words for Rumsfeld, claiming that “he served the president (George W.) badly." The former president says that Rumsfeld has a bad attitude.
“I don’t like what he did, and I think it hurt the president having his iron-ass view of everything," says Bush. "I’ve never been that close to him anyway. There’s a lack of humility, a lack of seeing what the other guy thinks. He’s more kick ass and take names, take numbers. I think he paid a price for that.”
Rumsfeld has not yet responded to Bush's criticism, Fox News reports.
While Bush Sr. has expressed concern over his son's "hot rhetoric," he has refrained from giving a detailed critique of George W.'s presidency, according to The New York Times.
“He’s my son, he did his best and I’m for him,” says Bush. “It’s that simple an equation.”