Entries in George W. Bush (36)


George W. Bush Becomes a Grandfather

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President George W. Bush and his wife Laura became new grandparents Saturday when their daughter, Jenna Hager, gave birth to a baby girl named Mila.

“Laura and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our grandchild, Margaret Laura ‘Mila’ Hager. Mila, daughter of Jenna and Henry Hager, is named for her grandmothers,” Bush said in a statement. “We met our beautiful granddaughter today. Jenna and Mila are healthy. And our family is elated.”

Mila, the Bush couple’s first grandchild, was born at 8:43 p.m. Saturday in New York City.

The Bushes will celebrate the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas on April 25.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jenna Bush Hager Pregnant, Fmr. President 'Fired Up' for First Grandchild

Peter Kramer/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Former President George W. Bush is getting ready to add another job to his resume – grandpa.

His daughter, 31-year-old Jenna Bush Hager, announced she is pregnant on NBC’s Today show, where she is a correspondent.

It will be the first grandchild for George and Laura Bush, who have remained largely out of the spotlight since leaving the White House.

In a phone call to the show, the former president said he was “fired up” about becoming a grandfather.  When asked what he’d like to be called by the newest addition to the family – “Gampy” or “Gramps,” for example – he responded with a firm “Sir!”  His daughter said she had suggested “Pancho.”

“I’m thrilled for Jenna and Henry,” said Laura Bush of the couple, who has been married for four years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jeb Bush on RNC: George W. ‘Is Smart to Stay Away’

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- In a Republican convention that has yet to prominently acknowledge the party’s last president, George W. Bush, Bush’s brother, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, hinted to ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer that his brother would be a part of his speech on Thursday night.

“I may say something nice about him,” Bush said. “There’s a video of he and my dad that will be on tonight, I think. And there may be mention of him tomorrow as well at eight o’clock.”

Bush says he does not find it strange that his brother has not been mentioned in the convention hall and understands why his brother decided not to attend the festivities in Tampa.

“[My brother] knows that he will be a target. The president has spent a lot of time and energy around this notion that ‘I can’t do anything about it. It’s all Bush’s fault. You know I’m trying, but it’s not working because it’s Bush’s fault,’” Bush told Sawyer. “Now we’re in year four of a presidency, think back into American history, think of a president that is blaming his predecessor in the fourth year. So why encourage the bad behavior and I think my brother is smart to stay away.”

As for Tuesday evening’s speeches, Bush was extraordinarily complimentary about the performances of both New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Ann Romney.

“Beautiful, I mean just a spectacular speech,” Bush said of Ann Romney. “Governor Romney has been brought up … like I was, which was told never to brag, never to express yourself about your own feelings, to be always concerned about other people. I think that’s my theory because he’s uncomfortable with the personal side of this. … Ann Romney really I think can show who he is in a more personal level. It was the most effective description of Mitt Romney that I’ve heard ever.”

Bush also had tremendous praise for Christie.

“I thought he was very effective, now I’m biased, I love the guy. Think he’s truth-telling … and that’s nice because we have structural problems in our country that are serious and this election should be about big things, not small things,” Bush said. “I thought Christie actually gave the president a little bit of a break and talked about these big things in a way that was not kind of what people probably anticipated him going after the president. And I think that’s good too, I don’t think this ought to be a personalized campaign.”

Many in political circles have predicted that if Romney loses, Bush may run for president in 2016. But when asked by Sawyer his plans four years from now, he kept to the party line.

“2016, I will be working with pride for the reelection of Mitt Romney,” he said.

In order to be successful, Bush believes Republicans need to do a better job of reaching out to specific minority communities.

“The good news is that Latino voters and Asian voters, I would say, share many of the values that conservatives embrace about the family being the most powerful political unit in society, the need to reform education so there’s access to opportunity, small business driving economic prosperity, a strong national defense, all of these things, they are shared values,” Bush said. “But if you have a tone that says you know, we want your vote of course, but don’t join our team, you’re not going to get very far.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


George W. Bush Drops by Romney Campaign Headquarters

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(BOSTON) -- Mitt Romney's campaign staff in Boston got an unexpected pep talk Tuesday morning when former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura stopped by.

In Boston visiting a charter school, the Bushes were introduced by Ann Romney and greeted by huge applause from Romney staffers, according to a person familiar with the meeting.  The visit was confirmed by the Romney campaign.

The former president praised the steady leadership of the campaign and encouraged staffers present "to seize the moment."

Bush has seen approval ratings rise since he left office, but he is still a divisive figure and has not been a major factor in Romney's campaign.  He only endorsed Romney when asked by an ABC News reporter who he would support.

Bush will also not be attending the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., later this summer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


George W. Bush to Skip GOP Convention

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- George W. Bush’s time outside the political spotlight will extend at least through August.

The former president will not attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., according to a spokesman, meaning he’ll be nowhere near when Republicans nominate Mitt Romney as their candidate to follow in Bush’s footsteps as a Republican occupant of the White House.

“President Bush was grateful for the invitation to the Republican National Convention,” Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said Friday in an emailed statement. “He supports Governor Romney and wants him to succeed.  President Bush is confident that Mitt Romney will be a great President.  But in keeping with his desire to stay off the political stage at this point in the post-presidency, he respectfully declined the invitation to go to Tampa.”

To the broader public, Bush has been a political pariah since his second White House term, when his approval ratings plummeted, at times reaching record lows. He did not actively campaign for Sen. John McCain in 2008, an election heavily influenced by the unpopularity of Bush and the war in Iraq, although he did endorse his party’s 2008 nominee over hot dogs at the White House.

Bush this year issued an impromptu endorsement of Romney to ABC’s Matt Negrin, as elevator doors closed.

Bush, 66, also missed the 2008 GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, traveling to Texas instead to meet with emergency workers as Hurricane Gustav caused damage on the Gulf Coast.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bush Library Refuses to Release Rob Portman’s Records

Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press(WASHINGTON) -- The George W. Bush Presidential Library has denied a request by a Democratic super PAC to turn over documents relating to Rob Portman’s stint in the Bush administration.

Earlier this week the super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Bush Library in Lewisville, Texas, for a variety of records, including correspondence and travel logs that would shed light on Portman’s work as director of the Office of Management and Budget and U.S. Trade Representative under the second President Bush.

But in a June 20 letter, Brooke Clement, the supervisory archivist at the Bush Library, which is run by the National Archives and Records Administration, rejected the request.

Clement cited provisions of the 1978 Presidential Records Act stipulating that such records are not subject to Freedom of Information Act petitions until five years after the records agency takes control of the documents or until “processing and organizing” of the records is completed “whichever is earlier.”

“If you would like to contact us again on or after January 20, 2014, we would be happy to assist you with your FOIA request,” Clement noted in the letter, which emphasized that the library had no legal obligation to release the records early.

Portman, now an Ohio senator and top Republican vice presidential contender, served for two years in the George W. Bush administration as well as during former President George H.W. Bush’s White House years.

According to a copy of the FOIA request, provided to ABC News by American Bridge, the super PAC asked the library to provide correspondence, including “copies of all letters, emails, faxes, phone-texts, and memorandum submitted to-and-from Portman from January 2001 to January 2009.” The group also requested nomination papers, travel logs and itineraries, White House vehicle expenses and logs, plane expenses and logs, personnel records, letters of reference and lists of White House gifts.

American Bridge was formed primarily as a tracking and research organization. During the primary season the group dispatched operatives to primary states armed with video cameras to record the Republican candidates’ every word. Since then, they have been taking a closer look at Romney’s record in business and government and have begun doing the same with the presumptive GOP nominee’s potential running mates.

“When you look at the roster of V.P. candidates, each of them is significantly flawed,” American Bridge senior adviser Ty Matsdorf said in a statement. “For Portman, it is his calamitous record on fiscal issues while working at the Bush White House. It shouldn’t be a shock that he is going to want to keep that under wraps for as long as possible, but unfortunately it’s pretty hard to hide a record as terrible as that.”

The Bush Library did not return ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Game of Thrones" Impales Fake George W. Bush

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Members of the Republican Party are fuming and HBO has issued an apology after realizing that the creators of Game of Thrones used a faux severed replica of former President George W. Bush’s head mounted on a stake in a number of scenes in the hit series.

The fake head, which series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss reveal in the show’s DVD commentary to be a replica of George W. Bush’s head, is seen in the final episode of the first season.

“People may not have noticed this but … the last head on the left is George Bush,” Benioff and Weiss explain on the DVD commentary track. “George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes.”

“It’s not a choice. It’s not a political statement. It’s just…we had to use what heads we had lying around,” Benioff and Weiss added.

The scene has upset members of the GOP, including Craig Eaton, chairman of the Brooklyn Republican Party, who told the MailOnline that he thinks “it’s despicable.”

“As a country, Democrats, Republicans, we have to have respect for the office and the individuals. Once we lose that respect, the United States looks weak,” he said.

HBO rushed to release a statement late Wednesday upon learning the news, calling the use of the Bush bust “unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste.”

“We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologized immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake.” The network added, “Sorry this happened and will have it [the scene] removed from any future DVD production.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nancy Pelosi Praises George W. Bush

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had kind words for former Republican President George W. Bush on Wednesday, calling him “really a lovely man” even though “we disagreed in policy.”

Pelosi, who served as the Democratic House majority leader during Bush’s last two years in office, said during a Wednesday interview celebrating her 25 years in Congress that she and Democrats “worked with President Bush on many issues,” reported the Daily Caller.

She cited the 2008 economic stimulus package, funding for international AIDS relief and the 2008 bank bailout — the Troubled Asset Relief Program — which she said was “probably the most unpopular bill that anybody will ever vote for ever.”

Pelosi has often called out Bush’s years in office as a time when the partisan battles that currently dominate Capitol Hill were less divisive. During last year’s fight over extending the payroll tax cut, Pelosi urged Congress to channel those more bipartisan days of the Bush years.

“It’s time for us to sit down and do this in a bipartisan way as we did when President Bush was president,” she said in December.

While Republicans and Democrats reached a virtual impasse on how to pay for the cuts, Pelosi chided Republicans for refusing to sit down at the negotiating table “as we did when Democrats were in the majority and President Bush was in the White House.

“We sat down, went through this, recognized the power of his signature, recognized the leverage of our majority but worked together,” she said, comparing the cross-party negotiations that went on while trying to pass the 2008 stimulus package with the battle being waged over the 2011 payroll tax cut.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


George W. Bush Cracks Jokes During White House Return

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- While President Obama frequently blames his predecessor for the “mess” he inherited, on Thursday he warmly welcomed former President George W. Bush back to the White House to pay tribute to his legacy, saying the bond they share as presidents transcends their political differences.

The 43rd president and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush, were back at their former home for the official unveiling of their portraits, a presidential tradition that dates back to 1800.

“In this job,” Obama said, “no decision that reaches your desk is easy; no choice you make is without costs. No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to make everybody happy. I think that’s something that President Bush and I both learned pretty quickly.

“That’s why, from time to time, those of us who have had the privilege to hold this office find ourselves turning to the only people on Earth that know the feeling,” he said. “We may have our differences politically, but the presidency transcends those differences.”

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Obama often publicly blames Bush for the economic crisis and the nation’s continued high unemployment, as well as many of America’s foreign policy challenges. After three and a half years in office, Obama said he now has “a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the presidents who came before me, including my immediate predecessor, President Bush.”

While he graciously welcomed Bush back to the White House, Obama did mention the struggling economy he inherited, thanking his predecessor for helping him transition into office during the economic crisis.

“President Bush understood that rescuing our economy was not just a Democratic or Republican issue; it was an American priority. I’ll always be grateful for that,” Obama said.

“I will always remember the gathering you hosted for all the living former presidents before I took office, your kind words of encouragement,” he added, before joking, “Plus, you also left me a really good TV sports package. I use it.”

President Bush seemed to relish being in the spotlight as he cracked jokes about his now-permanent place in the White House.

“Thank you so much for inviting our rowdy friends to my hanging,” he quipped, repeating a line his father, former President George H.W. Bush, said at his portrait unveiling in 1995.

“I am also pleased, Mr. President, that when you are wandering these halls as you wrestle with tough decisions, you will now be able to gaze at this portrait and ask: What would George do?” he said, chuckling.

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He also had a message for the current first lady, Michelle Obama.

“When the British burned the White House…in 1814, Dolly Madison famously saved this portrait of the first George W.,” Bush said.

“Now Michelle,” Bush added, pointing to his portrait, “if anything happens, there’s your man.”

The room erupted in laughter.

The painting, by artist John Howard Sanden, depicts Bush standing in the center of the Oval Office.

Surrounded by his family and former staff, Bush paid tribute to his father, who sat in the front row in a wheelchair alongside his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush.

“I am honored to be hanging near a man who gave me the greatest gift possible: unconditional love. And that would be number 41,” a misty-eyed Bush said of his father.

Bush 43 then introduced his wife, calling her the greatest first lady ever.

“Sorry mom,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “Would you agree to a tie?”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Welcomes George W. Bush Back to the White House

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Despite frequently blaming his predecessor for the “messes” he inherited, President Obama on Thursday will welcome former President George W. Bush back to the White House to honor his legacy.

The 43rd president and his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, will be back at their former home for the official unveiling of their portraits, an often uncomfortable presidential tradition.

The White House maintained Wednesday that Obama is looking forward to the event and that it’s “not at all” awkward.

“Look, there are differences… without question, between [President Obama's] approach and the approach and the policies of his predecessor,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.  “That was certainly the case when, I believe, President George W. Bush had President Clinton to the White House for his portrait unveiling.  And I think it is well-established that those two now-former presidents have a good relationship…. I think there is a community here with very few members that transcends political and policy differences.”

Obama often publicly blames Bush for the economic crisis and the nation’s continued high unemployment, as well as many of America’s foreign policy challenges.  Thursday’s event, however, will be free of politics.

“What has been the case and will be the case is that there is so much shared experience between, so far, the men and one day the men and women who hold this office that there is much to talk about that they hold in common.  So there’s not a lot of need to talk about where they differ,” Carney said.

This will not be the first time that Obama and Bush have met at the White House.  Then President Bush first welcomed then President-elect Obama to his future home shortly after his election in November 2008.  They met again at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue shortly before Obama took office and, of course, on the day of Obama’s inauguration in January 2009.

In addition to his wife, Bush will also be joined Thursday by his father, former President George H.W. Bush and his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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