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. hahaha

    look who is talking about being qualified

    September 15, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Everybody just trying to sell their book. After Tom Ridge back tracked his story, I really don't believe any thing in any of their books.

    September 15, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Sharon

    Look who's talking! Bush wasn't remotely qualified for the job and has no clue.

    September 15, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. kmsujon

    Bush is a bush. What you can say.

    September 15, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Rick Karl

    If Bush DID like Obama I'd be worried.

    Good. If Bush thinks Obama is doing a bad job, Obama must be doing a lot that IS right!

    September 15, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Don

    Obama doesn't have a clue of what is going on. He don't want to know – he may be forced to face the corruption and dishonesty of everyone around him.

    September 15, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. Tom

    Irony, thy name is George.

    September 15, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. chicago4obama

    We just witnessed Kanye West idiotic, performance, and equally outrages behavior by Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame Speech, Roger Federrer and Serna Williams disgusting outbursts. Then we look to the leaders and supposedly real role models of this country and find them just as childish constantly ripping The sitting President of the United States.Calling him a liar in that venue is despicable I give W a pass, because he has been ripped by The Obama Administration. Republicans such as Wilson, Bohner, Cantor Palin , Rush are just hateful and are in-sighting class warfare. There are a large number of people in this country who resent the fact we have a president of color. These people are feeding into the those il feelings. I truly believe because of Mike Pence ,Sara Palin, Rush and the rest of the hate mongers, this country will not recover for a long time.

    September 15, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. catbird

    Bush says that Obama doesn't have a clue?
    Bush?
    Well, I guess he is an expert on not having a clue...

    September 15, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. Haily

    "This guy has no clue, I promise you"
    I'm not the only one who sees any irony in this right? Coming from man who pretended nothing was wrong when the economy was collapsing and who consistently made a fool of himself and of us Americans whenever he went overseas to this "dangerous world"?

    September 15, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Gary

    He would know about clueless. His legacy – the president who brought the USA to its knees and removed it as a superpower. Talk about clueless.

    September 15, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Deep Throat

    He's right about Romney. He would have beaten Obama easily.
    But stupid Republicans took their eyes off the ball and nominated
    a loser who admitted he knew nothing about the economy which
    turned out to be the defining issue of the campaign

    Obama, it appears, is great at running for president. But is far from
    being qualified for being the president.

    September 15, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. bglg2005

    as if GWB has any room to talk, for 8years he ruined this country, and feels he has the right to judge one's qualifications. When you are going down as one of the most hated presidents of all time I don't think you have the right to talk.

    September 15, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. AEK

    I think President Bush, in reflecting on his own failed administration, is the perfect person to criticize somebody else's conduct of the country's business.

    September 15, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. chill

    Pretty funny Bush thinking that Obama wasn't qualified considering his own lack of background when he assumed the job. A couple of terms in the relatively ceremonial position of Texas Governor. Not much foreign policy experience there. I guess he could see Mexico.

    September 15, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Reformist

    Talk about the kettle calling the pot black! Bush will go down as the worst President in U.S. history and definitely the dumbest!

    September 15, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. Greg in Tampa

    Just a few months ago, most of the country felt that Obama was a brilliant, articulate "breath of fresh air" that would "govern from the middle" and Bush was the clueless one. Now, much of the country realizes that Obama is a far left idealogue that is in way over his head. It would be interesting to see a poll that asked "if the election were today, would you vote for Obama or McCain?". My guess is that McCain would win today in a landslide.

    September 15, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Chris

    Have we ever seen a two-term president recede into obscurity this quickly?

    September 15, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. larry

    Interesting to say the least.

    September 15, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. unshrub

    Anyone that Bush doesn't like is good enough for me.

    September 15, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Nick

    Wow, if Bush could see this why couldn't the liberal elite? They proclaim they are the best and the brightest and even Bush saw through Obama (and Palin). Oh well, three more years and we;ll hopefully have a real leader available.

    September 15, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. New Era

    Now the "puppet" can talk?

    President Bush had great clues; Stole the Election. Led the US to two wars. 4,000 soildiers dead and 20,000 wounded. Help evade the FBI by flying Bin Laden family out of the US after the towers fell. Spend 200 Billion on those same two wars. Lied to the American publilc about terror threats. Invaded the privacy of families across the US.
    Refused to finance "No Child Left Behind" Allowed Chaney to pull his strings.

    Should I go on???

    GWB......Clueless

    September 15, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Marlin Fish

    Heck, GHWB wasn't qualified for president, but he got there and look at the mess he made over the last 8 years, what a shame!
    At least Obama is trying to clean up Bush's awful expensive mess. Obama didn't ask for the mess that he got left, his mission was Health care for all, but look what he got instead.

    September 15, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Stu-Florida

    It would seem to me that the only ones with true Presidential experience are former Presidents. Makes sense, right? Palin being an exception...

    Then how can a man with previous Presidential experience, like Bush,
    truly have NO CLUE?? The guy was a drift!

    The great thing about President Obama is what he doesn't know he learns, he learns fast and NOW, and then takes that knowledge to make an educated plan or an imformed decision. The only thing missing fron his plans and enabling this country to move forward is SUPPORT.

    September 15, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. Kurt

    "the future president wasn't "remotely qualified" for the challenges of the job." Are you kidding me? You nimrod, we had 8 years of you and co-president Vader and you still weren't qualified. Go cut some wood, go fishin' and just go AWAY!

    September 15, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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