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. Norman

    Sort of ironic, that's what half of the nation said about Bush.

    September 15, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. once upon a horse

    President Bush saying somebody has no clue is about the funniest line I've heard in quite awhile. But perhaps he meant that Obama really had no clue how uncooperative the Republicans would be towards him. Now THAT I can agree with.

    September 15, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. mary

    Interesting how the most incompentent president in recent (and probably all) of history thinks that someone else "has no clue". Obama's just trying to get us through all of the messes that Bush left behind with his incredible compentence-two wars, a recession that almost was a depression, etc.

    September 15, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. EnoughIsEnough

    "Wasn't 'remotely qualified"? Well Georgie, if that ain't "the pot callin' the kettle black". Which is the precurser to the overall GOP (southern white old people's party) obsession with Obama being black. How fitting.

    September 15, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Vigla

    Um, honestly, I think Obama is doing just fine, thank you. Not perfect, but good enough. I don't expect him to rush us off into another unjustified war, or condone torture.

    Frankly, just think the opposite of what Bush says and it's probably correct.

    September 15, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Carla Martin-Wood

    Personally, I'm looking forward to his "reactions" to the economic collapse HE caused. And I haven't heard anyone say "this cat" referring to another human since I was in third grade in the 50s. This book should have been released on 9/11 - the anniversary of another disaster. What a freakshow! He needs to just go away so Obama - the man he considers clueless - can clean up the mess he left behind.

    September 15, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Michael

    And George W Bush certainly knows about being pathetically unprepared and having no clue!

    The idiot approached the job like he was Washington's social chair. That's all he was good for.

    September 15, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Post always rejected by CNN

    Well bush didn't know a darn thing either. All he did was fill the seat cheney ran the country.

    September 15, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. maxx atl

    Its evident he (bush) didnt have a clue... 2 wars and a collapsed economy ....... and was allowed to do it by his party he even fooled them left them all holding the bag, however, our President Obama have saved the day, go figure, guess education, intelligence apathy, morals, tolerance, civility, command of the english language rules again.

    September 15, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. rumrunner

    obama has no clue, mr. president? that makes 2 of you.

    September 15, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. The new GOP party of NO, racism, and hate is emerging

    Bush is apparently "well qualified" considering the state he left the US in after an unpaid for Iraq-war-4-oil and a collapsed economy!!!!

    kudos to GW Bush for ruining the USA!!!

    September 15, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. Frankie

    No. Obama wasn't qualified to be president on the first day in office. Unfortunately, being president of the United States is not a job you practice or learn to do. Based on the ideas and plans you present to the voters, they elect you to put those plans into operation. The voyers of the United States obviously liked Obamas plans better than McCains plans. Being a fickle bunch, we want solutions to work too quickly, hencg the dropoff in confidence in Obama. Give him a chance, folks.

    On the other hand, Bush, based on the mess his and Cheney's policies got us into, he ended up being even less qualified at the end of his terms than he was at the start. He wouldn't have gotten into these messes (economy, wars in Middle East) if he were.

    September 15, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Jean

    Well if that's not the pot calling the kettle black – then I don't know what is!

    September 15, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. eolufemi

    Bush....I seem to remember a guy masquerading as president by that name...

    September 15, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. David

    Who cares what this imbecile has to say? He is going to go down as one of the worst presidents in history. Bush saying this nonsense about Obama is like Bernard Madoff writing a book on business ethics. For the record, multiple times, Bush seemed like he had no clue (e.g. Katrina, Iraq, etc...) After 9/11, he first told the country to go shop instead of comforting them and then he manipulated the collective fear of this country to lauch us into two unwinnable wars.

    September 15, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Duke

    Let me get this straight. George, quack job, who was in office when our country was attacked, who couldn't run a baseball team, who presented inaccurate information to get us into a war, who led us into one of the worse economic crisis' this country has seen in 70 years is suddenly the authority of who's qualified and who's not qualified to be president? That's a good one!

    September 15, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    GOP was too busy thinking about defeating Hillary. they were obsessed. Obama comes along and throws them a left cross and knocks the GOP off balance.

    GOP should be thanking Obama. Didn't they want "anybody but Hillary"?

    September 15, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Ez

    bush thought obama "wasn't qualfied for the challenges of the job" LOL

    September 15, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Terry from Texas

    When it comes to cluelessness, George W. Bush is an expert.

    September 15, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. sonnie2

    If President GWB had got any clue this country would be better off today.All the problem solving was left to VP cheney who didnt have a clue either.They left office, With this country in so much mess that one wonders how they show there faces in public ever again
    Obamo may not have a clue but at least he is trying to do something
    for the people and the country
    What did Bush and Cheney did? away from there stupid war they did nothing Has anyone see one peice of legislation that benifit the people for the eight years they were in charge? Maybe the wealthy folks seen one. I know I didnt!!!! Good Ridiance

    September 15, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. James

    Oh wow. Those are some very candid statements. And I like seeing that side of President Bush.

    September 15, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Brian

    Dumb and Dumber ahahahahaaa ok

    September 15, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    Bush saying someone has no clue?

    Irony 1,000,001: GOP 0

    September 15, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. George

    For the first time I think GWB was right.

    September 15, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. The new GOP party of NO, racism, and hate is emerging

    Typicall of the unintelligent GW Bush to say Sarah Palin was "the governor of Guam"! I would say Sarah Palin is from Russia since she can see it from her porch!!!!

    September 15, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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