September 15th, 2009
06:01 PM ET
5 years ago

Bush on Obama: 'This guy has no clue'

Bush on Obama: 'This guy has no clue'.
Bush on Obama: 'This guy has no clue'.

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.


Filed under: Extra • George W. Bush • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. geecee

    Heh, heh, heh – goes to show you how much Bush knew! As if McCain/Palin would have done such a bang-up, super job with the mess he left behind for them to clean up. Don't give me nightmares thinking about what our economy and international relations would be right now with those two in office. If you think they are bad now – just imagine that scenario. We'd be in the throes of another Great Depression and involved in about 3 more wars – at least. Yikes!!

    September 15, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. rredd5

    Well, Bush was right on two counts: the McCain was a 5 spiral crash and Sarah Palin was not remotely ready for the job.

    September 15, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Pepou

    As if Bush was EVER qualified for the job ! The mess we are in today is entirely his doing. He never had a clue ...

    September 15, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Obama Victim

    well..look like W is right again...................

    September 15, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Enough

    That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell.

    September 15, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Farrell in Houston

    9/11 happened under your watch Mr. Former President Bush and we will never forget and have you also forgotten as a result we went to war with Iraq under a lie of WMD's. Have you forgotten because of you Mr. Bush we are still at war. Have you forgotten Mr. Bush we lost over 4,000 brave American men and women because of your lie.

    September 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Dennis

    I think the total lack of coherence from the administartion shows that Bush is right.

    September 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. janetlaw

    "wasn't remotely qualified for the job" – What, and you were?????This, coming from the witless worst president ever wonder – he really doesn't have a clue, does he?

    September 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Cleaning up after W

    Bush saying Obama has no clue?!? Anyone else see the irony in that statement?

    Bush started our economic free-fall and Obama is the one who is cleaning up his mess. Bush killed thousands of soldiers and innocent Iraqi civilians and Obama is cleaning up his mess.

    September 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ......what on earth is going on in your newsroom cnn? Why would you headline this story with Obama as the lead versus McCain, or Pailin?
    Evidently Bush did not think anyone was qualified to follow him into the presidency. He slammed McCain, and Obama, and DID NOT know who Pailin was even AFTER supposedly meeting her. The governor of Guam indeed!

    September 15, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Marilyn

    I can't stand George W. Bush, but he is right about Obama having no clue and not being "remotely qualified". This country has gone from the frying pan directly into the fire!!!

    September 15, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Jim

    curious.

    after leading us into an unjust war, sanctioning torture, and driving the economy into a tailspin i find it pretty low that he has the nerve to espouse an opinion on anyone.

    September 15, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Cate

    "...this cat"?!

    Well, my cat isn't remotely qualified to handle the job either, but you don't hear Bush going on about her!

    September 15, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Steph

    W doesn't even know enough to spot someone qualified for the job of President of the United States. Sadly, he was the one "not even remotely prepared" for the job, and we are still suffering the consequences. Thank God we have President Obama, an intelligent man who has worked his way up in the world (he wasn't handed anything by "daddy" like W), to guide us out of the mess.

    September 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Irony

    I LOL'ed at Bush saying "this cat isn't remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you".

    So...who WAS president then when 9/11 or the market crash happened?

    More LOL.

    September 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Enough

    Bush hit the nail on the head......too bad so many Americans are slow learners and were swept away with the promise of change. Reality has set in and people are waking up the nightmare that they elected this Naive, unqualified man to run our country into the ground. As Obama said "judge me by the people I surround myself with".........now that is truly scary, his choices have been terrible, starting with Biden. A community organizer does NOT make a good president, zero understanding of business.

    September 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Lisa P

    So if a habitually clueless guy says you have no clue that's a compliment, right? ;-)

    September 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  18. Gary W. Grabau

    I guess I greatly underestimated the former Presidents judgement
    of others. I only wish I had been as perceptive, having voted for Obama. I feel it is true that the american public really didn't stand a chance in this election when one considers our choices.

    One would think that of the millions of American citizens we should have had a far better selection to choose from. Too bad we, and I
    refer to myself and those of us who voted for Obama, could not have examined his limited experience and excluded his glib rhetoric.

    Maybe the next election will be better, if we are allowed to have another election. I'm beginning to question that probability.

    September 15, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. anthony

    ...and bush knows clueless

    September 15, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. DODGE THESE BULLETS

    Really, a complete moron calling one of our most intelligent Presidents ever clueless...priceless. Bush couldn't carry Obama's bookbag.

    September 15, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. fellow from chicago

    Mr. President; your assessment on both the good Senator McCain and the Democratic nominee at the time, Obama, proved so correct. McCain's national aspirations are gone and Obama as President still doesn't have a clue on how to guide the people of this great nation through difficult times.

    September 15, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. thersa

    Obama's not qualified? Well, I guess you'd be the one to know.
    Also, you've got to be kidding me, Bush referring to Obama as a "cat."
    Did we really have that boob in office for eight years? What an embarrassment.

    September 15, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Flipper

    Of course President Obama had no clue during the campaign. He's as green as they come. Even today he still has no clue on a great many things, especially domestic issues.

    September 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. Al in Florida

    "This guy has no clue, I promise you" ????!!!!

    Pot meet Kettle

    September 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. RTB

    Coming from the one who most Americans view as the worse Pres. in our history and viewed by the rest of the world as clueless. I don't think that what "W" has to mutter is worth much.

    September 15, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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