It’s fairly clear that there’s no love lost between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. Trump’s recent criticism of George W. Bush in relation to 9/11 has been largely seen as a way to needle Jeb and keep the friction going between them.

And it’s certainly accomplished just that.

Although that’s undoubtedly part of Trump’s motivation for his recent remarks, it doesn’t even begin to explain Trump’s long history of extremely critical and incendiary comments about GWB, which date back to many years before Trump or Jeb ever ran for president and most definitely were not sparked by their rivalry for the presidency in 2016.

On Wednesday I wrote about the subject in this article for the Weekly Standard. Here’s an excerpt:

…the sharpest of Trump’s attacks on George W. had occurred much earlier, in a series of interviews in 2007 and 2008, when neither Trump nor Jeb Bush were candidates. For example, in a 2008 interview with Wolf Blitzer, Trump advocated Bush’s impeachment, while adding how much he likes Nancy Pelosi…

In the same interview, Trump repeated the familiar “Bush lied about WMDs” mantra, and when Blitzer questioned whether he actually believed that, Trump repeated it:

Later in the interview, Trump said that Bush “is probably the worst president in the history of the United States.” It wasn’t the first time Trump had evaluated Bush that way, either; in 2007 he had made the same charge when he agreed that Bush was the worst president in U.S. history.

But perhaps the most negative ad hominem attack Trump had ever launched against George W. Bush was in a 2008 interview in which he called Bush “evil.” In the same interview, he also criticized Bush for not talking to Iran, and praised Obama in contrast, saying that he believes Obama will lead through consensus as president, and “not be a bull run, like Bush—he just did whatever the hell he wanted.”

It’s not just about Trump and Jeb. It’s not even mostly about Trump and Jeb.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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