Bush reportedly slams McCain: ‘Naming Palin makes Bush think less of McCain as a man’

By John Byrne
Friday, November 5, 2010 8:45 EDT
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Former President George W. Bush keeps it relatively tame in his new book, “Decision Points,” which is out next week. But behind the scenes, he’s reportedly been critical of former presidential candidate John McCain (R-AZ) and now-President Barack Obama. And he lays it thick on onetime Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin.

“Naming Palin makes Bush think less of McCain as a man,” a Republican official purportedly familiar with Bush’s thinking told The New York Daily News‘ Washington bureau chief Thomas DeFrank.

“He thinks McCain ran a lousy campaign with an unqualified running mate and destroyed any chance of winning by picking Palin,” the official allegedly averred.

Adds DeFrank:

As he prepares for the Tuesday launch of his memoir, “Decision Points,” Bush scrupulously gives his successor a public pass – a statesmanlike stance urged by his father, President George H. W. Bush.

“I want my President to succeed because if my President succeeds my country succeeds, and I want my country to succeed,” Bush typically says when asked about Obama.

“He won’t call Obama by name but he won’t trash him,” a confidant noted, referring to Bush’s comments in post-presidency speaking appearances, which have netted him millions, often at $100,000 or more a pop.

Still, he thinks Obama has failed as a President – a judgment supported by this week’s robust Republican gains.

The official familiar with Bush’s thinking goes on to describe small elements of Bush’s life, perhaps in part to establish his or her credibility as anonymous source. “The Bushes eat out with pals at least once a week,” DeFrank writes. “The wives typically choose the venue. He’s a big fan of the ham and cheese souffle at Rise, a trendy Inwood Village souffle bistro.”

The article also says he golfs as much as three times a week, and that he continues to get up at 4:30 or 5:00 am in the morning.

“He’s got a great life and he knows it,” one friend reportedly told DeFrank. “He’s so relieved to be out of Washington – you have no idea.”

DeFrank’s full story is available here.

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