President George W. Bush opened up to CNN in an interview aired Sunday about his close friendship with his “brother from another mother” President Clinton.
What does that make Hillary Clinton? “My sister-in-law,” Bush quipped.
When asked if his brother from the same mother, Jeb, could beat his sister-in-law in 2016, Bush replied, “Yes, and I think he’d beat her.”
He acknowledged that Hillary is a “very” formidable opponent. “No question. So is he, though.”
“Do I think she’ll run? I have no clue. I have no clue. But I know this but like Jeb, she knows what it’s like. And she’s — she’s taking her time. She’s got a new complicating factor in that she’s a grandmother, like you and like me from the grandfather side, she’s going to understand the joys of what it’s like.”
Bush, who once said that he looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw his soul, said he thinks the invader of Ukraine has become a “more zero sum type thinker.”
“In other words, I don’t — haven’t talked to him in years but it’s almost as if he says that if the West wins, I lose and if I win the West lose,” he said. “As opposed to, what can we do together to enhance our respective positions.”
The former president said he thinks the current president has a “good goal” for going after ISIS, but “then have you to put plans in place to achieve the goal.”
“And it seems like to me the initial plans are being adjusted. All I hope is that we succeed because ISIS is lethal,” Bush said. “They’re lethal not only for the people in the neighborhoods in which they leave. They’re lethal to our security.”
“Time will tell. It hadn’t been all that long since he stated the goal. So, hopefully what he does works. If it doesn’t work, hopefully he’ll change.”
Bush said his brother Jeb has been silent about his deliberations on whether he’ll run for president.
“He knows I want him to run. If I need to reiterate it, I will. Run, Jeb. I think he’d be a great president.”
Bush, who pushed for a guest-worker program during his time in the White House, said he thinks Jeb’s position on immigration is “a conservative position” that remembers family values “don’t stop at the Rio Grande.”
He weighed in on last week’s decision by a grand jury in New York to not indict an NYPD officer in the death of Eric Garner.
“I thought, how sad. You know, the verdict was hard to understand but, you know, I haven’t seen all the details. But it’s sad that race continues to play such, you know, kind of an emotional divisive part of life,” Bush said.
“I remember back when I was a kid in the ’70s and there was race riots with cities being burned. And I do think we have improved. I had dinner with Condi the other night and we talked about this subject. And yes, she just said, you just got to understand that there are a lot of, you know, black folks around that are just incredibly more and more distrusting of law enforcement, which is a shame because law enforcement’s job is to protect everybody.”