WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former President George W. Bush "seemed to feel considerable unease" with John McCain as the Republican presidential nominee, according to ex-speechwriter Matt Latimer in his tell-all memoir on his days in the White House.
In Latimer's new book, "Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor," set to hit bookstores on September 22, he reveals Bush's reactions to the economic collapse, the presidential campaign, and other memorable events. GQ published an excerpt from the memoir in its October issue.
Latimer said Bush liked Mitt Romney best and that he was "clearly not impressed with the McCain operation." Latimer said the former president wanted to appear with McCain at a campaign event in Phoenix, but after he was told the then-Republican nominee couldn't get enough people to show up, he called it a "cruel hoax."
"'He couldn't get 500 people? I could get that many people to turn out in Crawford.' He shook his head. 'This is a five-spiral crash, boys.'"
Bush presumed Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee, according to Latimer, and was extremely critical of Barack Obama. Latimer said Bush was "ticked off" after one of Obama's speeches and he said the future president wasn't "remotely qualified" for the challenges of the job.
"(Bush) came in one day to rehearse a speech, fuming. 'This is a dangerous world,' he said for no apparent reason, 'and this cat isn't remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you,'" Latimer said.
Latimer also made the controversial assertion that after Sarah Palin was tapped as McCain's running mate, Bush reportedly asked whether she was "the governor of Guam" and said that she was "not even remotely prepared." A former Bush and Palin aide has challenged the accuracy of the charge.