Entries in President Bush (8)


Is America Ready for Another George Bush?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- George Bush is going to the Republican National Convention this year. Not George W. Bush, not George H.W. Bush but George Prescott Bush, the eldest son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. He is challenging the Republican Party to once again be a "big tent" party, especially when it comes to reaching out to Hispanics.

As the grandson and nephew of the 41st and 43rd presidents of the United States respectively, George P. Bush is the heir to a long political heritage. His father Jeb -- the popular former Florida governor -- had until recently been considered a possible vice presidential pick for the Romney ticket this fall.

"In politics it's about timing, and there's also chemistry that's involved. This isn't his time and I think he's at peace with that," George P. Bush said of his father. "Of course on a personal level, I'm disappointed, but Governor Romney has some great folks that he can select from."

Jeb Bush has expressed concerns about the state of the Republican Party, stating that Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting the nomination from today's GOP.

"I would concur with his assessment, I think we have to be mindful of Reagan's ethos of the big tent theory," said George P. Bush. "The Republican Party in order to be successful has to include people from all backgrounds, namely the Hispanic community."

Mitt Romney took a tough line on immigration in the Republican primaries, but George P. Bush says to win over the Hispanic vote, the presumptive nominee needs to focus on the economy.

"I think he needs to focus on kitchen table issues. That's the economy, solving our unemployment issue and dealing with education reform," explained Bush whose mother, Columba Bush, is Mexican-American. "Immigration of course is an issue - it's an important issue to the community - but first and foremost it's about how do we get back on the right track economically."

As for his own political future, George P. says he has no specific plans. But he says he may eventually run for office.

"Right now I'm reviewing potential opportunities, and we'll - we'll see where it takes me," he said.

What advice do the Bush elders have for the up and comer?

"The advice is always to make a name in your own right. To be a success in your own capacity, to go out and, and figure out your own niche, your specific niche, before going into elective service," said George P., "I've taken that to heart, and I've followed it."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Surprised by Elder Bush’s Endorsement

ABC News(BERLIN, N.H.) -- Mitt Romney said Thursday’s endorsement from former president George H.W. Bush was a welcome, if unexpected, boost to his campaign.

“I had no idea that was coming,” he said, when asked by ABC News if he was surprised by the endorsement.

Romney received a call from Bush between campaign stops in New Hampshire early Thursday afternoon.

“I thanked him for his support, his leadership, his heroic life, and his friendship,” said Romney of his phone conversation with the former president. “This is much more important to me personally than even politically.”

Romney said the former president is a “real hero” to him and his family. He said the former president and first lady gave him some advice, though he wouldn’t go into details.

Mitt Romney has already received big endorsements from the likes of Bob Dole, Governor Nikki Haley and the Des Moines Register.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Condoleezza Rice Recalls Presidential Poison Scare After 9/11 Attacks

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- It was just a few weeks after September 11, 2001 when former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accompanied President Bush on a trip to China for the APEC summit. In Shanghai, Dr. Rice recalls, Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on a secure video conference line and delivered President George W. Bush this message:

“The vice president came on the screen and said that the White House detectors have detected botulinum toxin, and we were all -- those of who exposed were going to die,” Rice told ABC News.

“And I remember everybody just sort of freezing, and the president saying, ‘What was that? What was that, Dick?’” Rice, who was the National Security Advisor at the time, said.

Botulinum toxin, according to the Center for Biosecurity, is the “most poisonous substance known” and “extremely potent and lethal.”

The exposure time meant that she and those on the trip -- Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Chief of Staff Andy Card -- were all at risk, Rice told ABC News.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson sent the samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be tested on laboratory mice, she said. Rice writes in her new memoir, “No Higher Honor,” that after that call Bush directed her to “find out what the hell is going on” from her deputy, Steven Hadley.

“[Hadley] has this very dry sense of humor.  And he said, ‘Let me put it this way.  If the mice are feet up, we’re toast.  If the mice are feet down, we’re fine,’” Rice told ABC News.

“For 24 hours, we were in Shanghai, we did not know the results of those tests,” she said.

Rice writes that they acted “as if nothing had happened,” but she wondered if “we’d get home before the toxin acted.”

Around noon the next day Hadley called Rice to give her the results -- it was a false alarm.

“He said, ‘The mice are feet down.’  I went back to the president, and he was sitting next to the Chinese, and I said ‘The mice are feet down.’  And the president said, ‘That’s a good thing,’ and I’m sure the Chinese who probably got a translation thought it was some sort of code,” Rice said.

Watch more of George Stephanopoulos' interview with Rice Tuesday night on ABC's Nightline.

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Clint Eastwood as VP? George H.W. Bush Considered It

Indigo/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- George H.W. Bush, trailing Democrat Michael Dukakis in the heat of the 1988 presidential campaign, briefly but seriously considered Hollywood renaissance man Clint Eastwood to be his running mate, says a former Bush aide.

The revelation comes from more than 350 hours of audio interviews with 50 senior officials from the George H.W. Bush administration released Friday by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and Bush Presidential Library Foundation.  The decade-long oral history project documents the life and times of the 41st presidency.

“When we were way behind. Honestly, [Eastwood] was suggested in not an altogether unserious -- well, he was a mayor. He was a Republican mayor,” recalls former Bush campaign chairman and Secretary of State James Baker.  Eastwood served one term as mayor of the conservative ocean side community Carmel, Calif., from 1986-1988.

“Anyway, it was shot down pretty quick. But we were looking at an 18-point deficit,” Baker said, suggesting the campaign was looking for a boost from its vice presidential choice. Bush, who also considered Sen. Dan Quayle, R-Ind.; Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan.; Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo.; and Rep. Jack Kemp, R-N.Y., ultimately settled on Quayle.

Quayle was “maybe not the most qualified, but he brings other attributes that are extraordinarily important,” Baker said of his initial reaction to Bush’s choice.

The interviews, conducted by a panel of university scholars between 1999 and 2011, paint an intimate and detailed portrait of Bush and his team as they navigated the 1988 election campaign and transition to the White House, legislative affairs, two Supreme Court appointments and later a series of foreign crises, including the first Gulf War.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


9/11, Remembrance and Renewal: Recalling President Bush's Reaction

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The nation is marking 10 years since the attacks of 9/11. ABC News White House Correspondent Ann Compton recalls being on the road with President Bush that tragic day.

"I was with President George Bush in a Florida classroom as an aide whispered the chilling news," Compton says.

"As soon as he was informed of the attack President Bush wanted to get back to Washington. But he could not.  Nor could those of us with him," she says.

The Pentagon had been struck too, making the nation's capital a target and challenging the White House to ensure that its Doomsday scenario can survive in a new era of powerful terrorism.  But the president would soon get his wish.

"This is Ann Compton.  We are on board [Air Force One].  Doors are shut and I am told we are flying back to Washington," Compton reported on Sept. 11, 2001, hours after the attacks.

"President Bush flew half way across the United States to find safety and communications," Compton recalls.  "Now, 10 years later, Air Force One has secure video conferencing equipment, satellite television capability, linking the President to American officials all over the globe. "

Today, Compton says, "the Doomsday scenario is still in place to protect not just the man, but the line of succession to the presidency."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rumsfeld: U.S. Prestige Will be Damaged if Gadhafi Stays

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said that if Gadhafi remains in power in Libya, it will damage the prestige of the United States.

In an exclusive interview on This Week with ABC News' Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper, Rumsfeld said, "the fact is we are involved" in Libya. "And the prestige of the United States is involved."

Rumsfeld compared the possible scenario of Gadhafi staying in power in Tripoli to the U.S. and coalition forces not removing Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Gulf War, though he refused to take a firm stand on whether U.S. military action in Libya was the correct move for the Obama administration.

"Think back to the Gulf War in the early 1990s," said Rumsfeld, who served as George W. Bush's defense secretary from 2001-2006. "Saddam Hussein, when it was over, said he had fought the mother of all battles and President George Herbert Walker Bush was gone, Margaret Thatcher was gone, and he was still in office. And the implication of that was that he had defeated the United States," he said.

"Let there be no question: we're now involved in Libya. And if Gadhafi stays on, he will feel he has fought the mother of all battles against the United States and it will be damaging to us just as our demeanor in Somalia was damaging, the situation in Lebanon was damaging and that will embolden others of his ilk," he told Tapper.

Rumsfeld also used the word "confusion" a number of times to describe the United Nations-backed military effort in Libya.

"If you go into something with confusion and ambiguity about what the mission is – and we've heard four or five different explanations about why we're there – and that is the root of the problem. The confusion that comes from that," Rumsfeld said.

"Confusion about what the mission is, confusion about who the rebels are, confusion about whether or not Gadhafi should be left in power, confusion about what the command and control should be," Rumsfeld said.

The former defense secretary said he thought the coalition in the Libya mission did not compare favorably to the coalition President George W. Bush put together to fight the "global war on terror."

"The coalition that is in place with respect to Libya is the smallest one in modern history," Rumsfeld said. "We had over 90 countries in the global war on terror that President Bush and Colin Powell put in place. We had dozens of countries involved in Afghanistan, dozens of countries involved in Iraq. … And still, the Democrats were alleging that it was President Bush was a unilateralist. It's nonsense," he insisted.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former Bush Aide Urges Obama to Retaliate Against Somali Pirates

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer issued a stern warning to the Obama administration in the aftermath of the killings of four Americans at the hands of Somali pirates on Tuesday: retaliate or face the consequences.

“If I was a Somali pirate & if O doesn't retaliate, I'd keep taking hostages,” Fleisher, who served as the White House’s chief spokesman during the first two years of President George W. Bush’s presidency, tweeted. “If crime/terror pays, there will be more crime/terror.”

There has been no word from the White House about what action the Obama administration might take in the wake of the killings, but ABC News’ Jake Tapper reports that over the weekend the president authorized the use of force against the pirates in case of any imminent threat to the hostages.

Early Tuesday morning, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan notified President Obama that the four hostages -- Jean and Scott Adam from California and Phyllis MacKay and Bob Riggle from Washington state -- had been killed.

The Americans, who were on a round-the-world journey on their yacht, encountered pirates last week 300 miles off the Somali coast. U.S. officials had attempted to negotiate with the captors when gunfire broke out. American military forces killed two pirates in the shoot-out and captured more than a dozen others.

“4 Americans killed by pirates,” Fleisher tweeted. “This is the 3:00am call that Hillary warned about. If O doesn't want more killed, he must strike back.”

One Somali pirate was recently sentenced to 33 years in prison for his involvement in the 2009 hijacking of a U.S. shipping vessel, the Maersk Alabama. U.S. forces intervened and saved the life of the Alabama’s captain. Pirate activity has been on the rise in East African waters over the last few years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Proposed Legislation Would Make Bush-Era Tax Cuts Permanent

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., has suggested that if soon-to-expire income tax cuts are not made permanent by the end of the year, Republicans should redouble their efforts to do so in the new Congress.

Pence said on Thursday he was backing up that pledge with legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., to permanently extend the cuts for both the middle class and wealthy Americans.

“I really believe that the last thing we should do in the worst economy in 25 years is allow a tax increase on any American,” Pence told ABC’s Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein on Top Line. “And we shouldn't do it in six weeks, we should do it in 24 months or 36 months, we ought to start the road to recovery by saying to the American people all the current tax rates are the tax rates going forward, permanently.”

There are already several pieces of legislation pending to extend the tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year, and other members of Congress, like the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., have said they will proceed with similar measures.

Congress is expected to consider the tax cut issue when they return from the Thanksgiving recess.

During Thursday's Top Line apperance, Pence called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to schedule a debate on his bill before the end of the year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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