WASHINGTON (CNN) – A former aide to George W. Bush and Sarah Palin is dismissing a claim by onetime Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer that the former president was clueless about Palin when she was tapped as John McCain's running mate last August.
Latimer writes in a new book - scheduled for release in October - that Bush wasn't even aware of Palin when she was picked.
"'What is she, the governor of Guam?'" Bush reportedly asked. Latimer also writes that Bush told aides that the then-Alaska governor was "not even remotely prepared" for the national stage.
But Jason Recher, who served as special assistant to President Bush and as a traveling aide to Palin during the campaign, said the former President was well aware of Palin - especially since the two met in person in Alaska just three weeks before Palin was added to the Republican ticket.
During a stopover in Fairbanks on the way to the Beijing Olympics last August, Recher said Bush met with Palin and even made a knowing reference to her rising reputation in the Republican Party.
"The president was fully aware of who Sarah Palin was," Recher told CNN. "Even so much that when he greeted the governor and Todd in Fairbanks during a re-fueling stop on the way to the Beijing Olympics, he threw open his arms and said "Madam Vice President!'"
"He was very aware of her rising-star status and who she was and everything about her, even down to the fact that she recently had given birth to Trig," Recher said.
After Palin became the vice presidential nominee, Recher said the White House loaned out both he and Laura Bush's photographer Shealah Craighead to the McCain campaign to help staff Palin and her family.
Recher said Bush and Palin had a warm relationship and talked multiple times throughout the campaign, including after a large campaign rally near Orlando in September and after the Vice Presidential debate in October.
"There is no air, no space between them," Recher said. "Sarah Palin is a big fan of George Bush, and she has said publicly she was proud he was Commander-in-Chief when her son Track was in Iraq."
Recher, who traveled with President Bush nearly every day for the final three years of his presidency, questioned just how plugged-in Latimer was at the White House.
"I think that most people that used to work at the White House would be hard pressed to pick him out of a lineup," Recher said. "Nobody knows who he is. When people heard he was writing a book the most common reaction has been, 'Who?'"
Latimer did have it wrong. G. Bush wasn't clueless about Palin. He was clueless....period.
SOOOO WHAT!!!!! I'm becoming sick of CNN you have become a tabloid......I'm also sick off Fox News and MSNBC with there partisan reporting....I'm overseas and need a "news worthy" source to tap into
Bush was aware of something! Wow!
President Bush and I can finally agree on something! LOL
Republicans are CLUELESS!
OBAMA-BIDEN 2012 Yes We Can.
One clueless person to another....
The only opinion George W,. got right... lol lolol lol lol
"Even so much that when he greeted the governor and Todd in Fairbanks during a re-fueling stop on the way to the Beijing Olympics..."
Alaska's former Governor was a gas station attendant for President Bush? She was qualified for the office of Vice President then, man can I go back and change my vote?
The three stooges:
Barney Frank (Curly or Shrimp, take your pick)
From one dumb Republican to another. They stick together.
What a mess the Republican Party has become. Sad.
Proving once again just how screwed up the GOP really is.
More lies against Palin, so sad as the Left will eat this up. Oh well, she'll easily defeat Obama in 2012!
I'll bet they are disputing it.
Well, if he met her three weeks before she was chosen, he certainly knew her well (he says sarcastically).
Who wasn't aware of the biggest supporter of the "Bridge to No-where"? But yea, Bush didn't know alot of things, wouldn't surprise me if this was just another on the long list of things Bush didn't know.
ps: He was also introduced to the idea of Planes attacking America, Clinton introduced him to the idea. Bush was ignorant on that one too! Par for the course, republicans never know anything even when they have been told about them. Makes you wonder though, Clinton's intelliigence warned of a likely terrorist attack using planes flown into buildings. Bush's intelligence tells us WMD's in Iraq. So, given the outcomes of each claim, I would say Bush utterly destroyed our intelligence sector.
Its not a wonder Bush did'nt know Palin, this is a party which shoots from the hip and think later!
How could Dubya would have known anything about Sarah? Nobody knew her before her name was picked out from the lottery hat by McCain. LOL. Dubya probably does not even know where Alaska is. har har har.
Clearly, Bush's comment was a joke/exaggeration which was misunderstood by the author. The comment about her not being prepared for the national stage was accurate.
denial – yeah right....
Let's see. He met her three weeks before she was nominated for VP?
At at time Mccain had no idea who he was going to pick, and he
called her "Madam Vice President??
Something sure fishy here.
It may or may not be true that Former President George W. Bush was clueless about Sarah Palin, but one thing is obviously true: George W. was clueless about ethics, the nation's welfare and economy. Furthermore, Sarah Palin was just plain clueless about being vice president and clueless about many things in general. John McCain was clueless about the economy and clueless about how to properly vet and select a vice president.
Does someone actually care about this NOT news ... ???