As the Trump White House continues to churn in its own filth, sad news dominated the headlines today regarding former First Lady Barbara Bush. According numerous reports, her health is failing and she “will not seek further medical care,” apparently by her own choice.
According to a person close to the Bush family, Barbara Bush has a lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her health is further complicated by congestive heart failure.
“It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others,” a family statement said. “She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”
Here’s to hoping that she has a peaceful and comfortable transition.
Scrolling through my feeds today, I was reminded that Barbara Bush wasn’t shy about expressing her distaste for Donald Trump. In a series of interviews back in 2016 during the run up to the election, the former First Lady didn’t hold back on how horrified she was that he’d vaulted himself to the frontrunner status in the Republican Party.
In February of 2016, Jeb Bush was still a candidate for president and his confrontations with fellow candidate Trump were at a fever pitch. Around that time, Barbara Bush sat down for a joint interview alongside her son with CNN Special Correspondent Jamie Gangel. Bush jokingly cautioned his mom to “be careful” when she was asked what she really thought about Trump. Her dislike for the former real estate mogul was apparent.
“He doesn’t give many answers to how he would solve problems,” she said. “He sort of makes faces and says insulting things,” Barbara Bush said about Trump. “He’s said terrible things about women, terrible things about the military. I don’t understand why people are for him, for that reason.”
“I’m a woman,” she added. “I’m not crazy about what he says about women.”
That same month, she again sat down for an interview alongside her then-candidate son, this time with CBS’s Norah O’Donnell. At one point in the segment, O’Donnell asked how she felt about the then-current state of politics. Without a segue, Barbara Bush immediately focused on Trump.
Surprised this didn't get shared more at the time. Maybe because back then so many thought he would inevitably lose and disappear. Barbara Bush unfiltered on Trump. "I don't know how women can vote" for him, she says. pic.twitter.com/IWK42SmGo7
— Elad Nehorai (@EladNehorai) April 9, 2018
“He’s like a comedian, or like a showman or something,” Bush said.
“Donald Trump?” O’Donnell asked.
“Yes,” Bush replied. “And just the whole thing — not working with Congress … that’s the way things get done in this country, truthfully.”
Jeb, seeming a little wary of where she was going, chimed in, saying, “Politics has always been a contact sport … but our culture is different.” He then resigned himself to jump head first into his mother’s critique. “I mean, I don’t think a president would have ever shouted profanities in a speech in front of thousands of people with kids in the crowd.”
Upon hearing this, Barbara Bush looked up at her son and asked incredulously, “Who did that?”
“Your buddy,” Jeb responded.
The look Barbara Bush gave Nora O’Donnell said it all. She was horrified. O’Donnell then drove the point home.
“Donald Trump is the Republican frontrunner,” the CBS anchor said. “He’s called Mexicans ‘rapists.'”
“Well, what about women?” Barbara Bush added. “… I don’t know how women can vote for someone who said what he said about [Fox News anchor] Megyn Kelly.”
“It’s terrible. And we knew what he meant too,” she continued, clearly referring to Trump’s comments about Kelly having “blood coming out of her wherever” after the first GOP debate.
She even slammed Trump’s alleged cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin has endorsed him, for heaven’s sakes,” Barbara Bush said. “Putin the killer, Putin the worst. That’s an endorsement you don’t want.”
Little did she know back then how prescient her words would be.
Regardless of how people may feel about the Bush dynasty, it’s important to remember that its matriarch pegged Trump for who he is.
Featured image via screen grab