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. KD

    Look who's talking!

    September 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. AUSTIN,TX

    like this guy had a clue

    September 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Paul from Phoenix

    Wow, at least he was right about something.

    September 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Karen

    I guess we can all see how qualified Bush was for the job. He is the last person who should be critical of anyone.

    September 15, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. Hey BIG Spender

    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.

    YEAH. WE KNOW. HE THINKS MONEY CAN FIX EVERYTHING. What about Iran and Isreal Mr.President ?

    September 15, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Jackie in Dallas

    Oh, so Bush thought that Candidate Obama had no clue??? Oh, please, even with all of his daddy's millions and political clout, Bush couldn't buy a clue even if he could spell it! Who was it who let his VP trample the Constitutional rights of US citizens, break international laws on torture, insult and run off allies of American for centuries, while playing footsie with the Communist Chinese, and spent trillions and more than 4000 American lives on a war for the profits of his oil company buddies? Not President Obama. Not even a President McCain!

    President Obama knows more about the dangers of this world than a little country hick like Bush, he saw them first hand as a child - and not as a child of privilege.

    But since Bush's former aide has challenged most of Latimer's assertions, I would guess that we shouldn't believe any of them, right?

    September 15, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    Bush still thinks he was a good president,sad. The Bush administration devided this country more then anything since the civil war. And he is so afraid that Obama is just the man to put it back together agin making him look even worse,it may take some time but Obama is just the man to do it. Obama is the right man in the right place at the right time for America.

    September 15, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Aric G.

    The title on this story says it all. Obama IS clueless. Bush, even on his worst day, couldn't possibly leave a fraction of the wake of distruction this guy continues to leave behind him.

    September 15, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. annie

    Like he was?

    September 15, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. MLH

    Who cares what George Bush thought about John McCain or Barack Obama. I want to know what he really thought about WMD's, selling the War in Iraq, and torturing human beings. And frankly, if Mr. Latimer was responsible for some of the speeches I heard Mr. Bush give, I already know I don't want to read his writing.

    September 15, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Chris, Charleston, SC

    pot calling kettle black?

    September 15, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Randolph Carter, chairman of the death panel

    Pretty hilarious comment about Obama when you consider the source. I wonder what Bush had to say about Glenn Beck's whereabouts in 1990. Have a nice day!

    September 15, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. Typical Republican

    Wow, we have gone a full 9 months into this current presidents term and no terrorist attacks. This new guy sucks. Our previous president was able to slaughter 3000 of our own people in less then 9 months. I'm telling you, Bush kept us safe, so long as you disregard those 3000 new yorkers and those people from new orleans.

    September 15, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. kk

    All these intellegent comments coming from a man who left a major American city to drown, started a war based on a family fued and crashed the biggest economy in the world. By the way, has any one heard from Bush in the last 9 monthe?

    September 15, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. I can see Canada from my house!

    Being a speechwriter to W is like trying to give lessons in portrait painting to the blind.

    September 15, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. nimi

    who cares

    September 15, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. B, Illinois

    A ringing endorsement for Obama if I ever heard one.

    September 15, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Oh that pillar of wisdom, George W. Bush!

    September 15, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Dominican Mama 4 Obama

    He doesn't know what he doing, but I still like him.

    September 15, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. Denis -Toronto

    Just like Bush I thought very positively about Hilary Clinton as the Nominee for the Democractic party but I am now very impresssed with President Obama who is doing a great job.

    Great title for Bush's book "Speech-less" because myself included and a significant majority of thinking people in the industrialized world are speechless on how we feel and think about Bush's presidency in terms of the Iraq war that he started and the world economy that he just about destroyed , included other poorly thought out decisions that he made.

    I

    September 15, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. OldUncleTom

    Why would this man's opinion be noteworthy? His administration was straight out of "Blazing Saddles", hats and all.

    I think America continues to deserve George W Bush's silence.

    September 15, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. munchmom

    Well, looks like Mr. Bush had a premonition on this one–Obama DOESN'T have a clue. God help us all!

    September 15, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Dont blame me

    Bush was right about one thing Obama wasn't ready for the job, and he still isn't.

    Rookie.

    September 15, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. jd

    Whether the story is accurate or not doesn't matter to CNN. It is only useful if it makes Bush look bad. In this case Bush is right. Obama has no qualifications other than a tremendous ego, that is likely to cost this country several large buildings, years of economic problems and continuing strife.

    September 15, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. FormerRepublican

    What's hilarious is that Mr. Bush is right. Obama had no clue. No clue where to start cleaning up the mess he inherited from the single most inept, corrupt, blatantly divisive and borderline evil administration I can remember. If any other nation had done half the things Mr. Bush did during his tenure, we would have invaded them under the pretense of "protecting the world and preserving basic human rights."

    Best of luck, Mr. Obama. You are faced with the most significant challenges any President has faced in 100 years. I for one hope you succeed for the good of generations to come.

    September 15, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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