The New York Times reported on Saturday that a few high-profile Republicans would not be supporting Donald Trump’s reelection. But, one of those Republicans, former President George W. Bush, is denying that report.
“This is completely made up,” Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said in an email to the Texas Tribune. “He is retired from presidential politics and has not indicated how he will vote.”
In an email to @texastribune’s @ragajus, George W. Bush spox @kyfredchicken denies @nytimes report: "This is completely made up. He is retired from presidential politics and has not indicated how he will vote.” https://t.co/tWelJOqmhv https://t.co/RiHpmkfa5Z
— Evan Smith (@evanasmith) June 7, 2020
The New York Times has not updated the article with Ford’s statement.
There is a lot of tensions between the Bush family and Trump. In 2016, Bush’s younger brother Jeb also sought the Republican nomination for the presidency, and was repeatedly mocked by Trump. George W. Bush has also been criticized by the current president, particularly with regard to the Iraq War. In a July 2018 rally, Trump also attacked George H.W. Bush, saying, “Thousand points of light, I never quite got that one.”
The phrase, “a thousand points of light” was popularized during his 1988 presidential campaign, and was later used as the name of a nonprofit group founded by the late 41st president to promote volunteerism.
“What the hell is that?” Trump said. “Has anyone ever figured that one out? And it was put out by a Republican, wasn’t it? I know one thing, Make America Great Again we understand. Putting America first we understand.”
Naturally, I don’t doubt there’s plenty of bad blood between the Bush family and Trump. But, it does seem that the New York Times went ahead with a bogus story because it made Trump look bad. Aside from the fact that President Bush apparently made no such declaration, the article overstated the importance of the others mentioned in the article as well.
For example, much was made of former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s announcement that he’d vote for Biden, as if that was shocking news after he voted for Obama twice, and Hillary Clinton. So, is it really earth-shattering news that Colin Powell, who hasn’t voted Republican in the previous 3 elections, won’t in 2020? Is he even a Republican anymore?
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis