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. Obama 2.0

    Wow I didn't know Bush could think!!! I always thought that he operated from instinct! Interesting, wish he could have thunk before Iraq ;)

    September 15, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Ken

    Let's see, arguably one of the worst presidents to ever sit in the white house presumes to critique future candidates? The delusion pills being swallowed by the GOP between 200-2008 were indeed huge, and they still haven't worn off....they even contaminated the water in Alaska, as Bush correctly surmised.

    September 15, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Carol

    Ooouchhh... Kind of harsh towards everyone, McCain, Palin and Obama weren't you Bush?

    September 15, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Dave S, Tinley Park, IL

    Obama has no clue? Well that's the pot calling the kettle black. Good riddance, Bush-keep yourself hidden like you've been doing.

    September 15, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. jm

    And Obama still isn't qualified.

    September 15, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Jason

    Even until the very end....Bush was clueless.

    September 15, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Chipster

    If Bush's performance in office indicated in any way whatsoever that HE had a clue, this might really mean something.

    Bush destroyed the economy, waged a war against the wrong enemy, violated the Constitutional rights to equal protection, due process, search and seizure, and disrespected the Geneva Convention. Our allies were dismayed by his ineptitude and disrespect - and that's our allies!

    Please, I'd laugh if it were really funny but Bush is just plain sad. History will not be kind. There is simply to much evidence of his incompetence.

    September 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. Tedmonds

    This article just comfirmed that I was right all the time. The former President doesn't have a clue to what's going on in the world. You cn look at him and tell that he's in his own little world.

    September 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. Angie in Pa

    Like W was qualified look around you Bush look at the Mess you made oh another thing YOU DID NOT KEEP THE COUNTRY SAFE 911 HAPPENED ON YOUR WATCH YOU IGNORED THE WARNINGS You should be Thanking the Current President for working hard trying to clean up your disasters!

    September 15, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Dan

    Bush is right on all these:
    -Obama not prepared to be president (duh),
    -Palin not prepared for the national scene (double duh), and
    -McCain campaign totally unorganized (triple duh)....
    (From the place he had nothing to gain or lose or to be political, he was expressing his real assessments, at least from the position of serving for 8 years as president– regardless of his job performance or the reflection on his job performance by the press and by die-hard left democrats.)

    September 15, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. CJL

    He is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.

    September 15, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. abraxis

    "W" has been recalled to the village in Texas that was missing its idiot. He is there, let's let the idiot be, please!

    September 15, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Bonnie

    wow, Takes one to know one.

    September 15, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Art Michaelson

    WHO YOU KIDDING? Bush was niwhere qualified when he first ran for president 8 years ago. Go back to his interviews. He had no idea who Musharif (Pres. Pakistan) was other than some Paki General. He also identified the TALIBAN as the name of some ROCK GROUP. Come on give me a break. His ignorance of world religuons and customs led us into a costly war (lives/money) we should never have started If and when the TRUE history of the BUSH/Cheney years are written Americans will be shocked and saddened.

    September 15, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Frisky

    well George would certainly not be a good critic for who is not remotely qualified for the job.

    September 15, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. richard

    We ARE in trouble. NO ONE is qualified to lead this country, in my opinion. We are in BIG trouble.

    The selfishness and greed in the name of 'working hard and making a better life for oneself' does NOTHING for this country. We produce no durable goods whatsoever, and there are a relative few people in each class level who are grabbing all they can.

    This is a recipie for disaster. There needs to be some reinvestment directed to our education and retraining of our people. Can we somehow turn off the TVs?

    September 15, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Bush 2012 !

    I wish Bush could run again, and serve another 4 years as President. Maybe we can change the Constitution to allow it – it would be worth the effort, although anybody but Obama will do.

    September 15, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Pete

    Let's bring W back! It would be great to have a real leader again.

    September 15, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Percy Anson

    George Bush was right-on about most things, and this is one of them. Note that Obama is carrying on with most of Pres Bush's policies but just calling them something different and has many people fooled by this. What has America done to itself??? Terrible.

    September 15, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. sara-fl

    Are we going to start listing to the greatest Liar that ever lived. Panthetic! I want to know what's it going to take for this rebugs...to realize he is the worst thing that has happened to our great country and yet we treat him as the best thing as apple pie. The world know us for what this man represents , an ignorant criminal Liar. Truth sometimes hurts...Get over it.

    September 15, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. chubby

    How true President Bush. nobama was not,is not and evidently will never be qualified for the office he holds. He is in the unions hip pocket and there he will remain until he is voted out of office in 2012 and that will be "GOOD RIDDANCE".

    September 15, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Priscilla

    Obama doesn't have a clue???? From George Bush??? Bush only did what Cheney told him to do. Bush is not very bright. John McCain and Obama are much better men than Bush.

    September 15, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. Take That

    This from the unequivocal dumbest and least impressive president in history (or at least my lifetime).

    September 15, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Bush isn't qualified to say anyone else "has no clue." He had no clue for the most part. I think part of it is because he couldn't imagine anyone else (I just don't think he has any imagination).

    September 15, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Jonathan from Madison WI

    And he is right, He has proven that he truly doesn't have a clue about anythig except spreading Marxist ideology.

    September 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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