Bush filmmaker: Nothing off limits
June 14th, 2012
12:40 PM ET
3 years ago

Bush filmmaker: Nothing off limits

(CNN) – America's 41st president didn't hide anything during the taping of an upcoming documentary about his life and administration, the film's producer says.

"There were no areas that were off-limits," Jerry Weintraub said in an interview with CNN's Fredricka Whitfield. The film about George H.W. Bush, titled simply "41," will air on HBO Thursday evening at 9 p.m. ET. CNN, like HBO, is owned by Time Warner.

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"The fact of the matter is that if you look at the president's past, he's never bragged about anything in his dossier," Weintraub continued. "He was the most prepared man that ever entered the presidency, because of all the jobs that he did leading up to it."

In the documentary, which was filmed at Bush's ocean-side home in Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush describes how he felt when his son, George W. Bush, was elected president in 2000.

"Very emotional for me. Very proud father," Bush says. "First time it's happened I guess in the history of our country, except for the Adamses. It was mindboggling, it was enormous. A source of great pride for the family, for the father."

Weintraub said he didn't get the sense that Bush was preparing any of his sons to enter political life.

"I don't think he groomed them to be anything except to serve the country and serve themselves and be decent people and citizens," Weintraub said. "His family is a wonderful, wonderful family. Barbara Bush is a great partner for him. She's an extraordinary woman. His children are terrific. And I don't think he ever set out for his son to be president of the United States. I know he was extraordinarily proud of the fact that his son was president twice."

The film features a reflective moment from Bush, who recently turned 88, about getting older.

"I can't do sports, which I've lived my whole life doing," Bush says. "Nobody asks me to be on the team anymore. I remember I used to stand around - no, no, next to you, I'll take you, you, you. I'm standing there, nobody wants me. Because I can't move very well. This is a metaphor, but I miss it."

Bush's reflection on aging eventually lightens up as he turns to the subject of boats.

"Boats, I'm still in the game," Bush says. "I'm now privileged to have a very fast boat, a very powerful boat. Everyone wants to go on it. It's a wonderful, wonderful outlet for me."

Weintraub said Bush, while a funny man, took the job of commander in chief very seriously.

"He was very serious about his job as president of the United States," Weintraub said. "He wasn't cavalier. And when he sent kids to war, he knew what that was. Because he went himself. And he almost died. So he was a serious man. Very, very serious man. He has a great sense of humor, and he can't putt very well, but other than that, he was a very serious guy."

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Filed under: George H.W. Bush
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "Poor George." He thinks that today's Republicans like him. "Poor George."

    June 14, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    A great man, a great American. He deserved a second term in office. The American people owe George an apology for that mistake.

    June 14, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. cali girl

    We should respect our elders.

    June 14, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    "Very emotional for me. Very proud father," Bush says. "First time it's happened I guess in the history of our country, except for the Adamses. It was mindboggling, it was enormous. A source of great pride for the family, for the father."
    -----------------------------–

    at first. then horror and shame

    June 14, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Fair

    41st was a great President wish we had one like him now.

    June 14, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Jewels

    It's sad to see him in that way at 88. I actually like him - as a moderate. He definitely has a leader quality and respect him for serving our country.

    June 14, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    ... BEND... wrote:

    A great man, a great American. He deserved a second term in office. The American people owe George an apology for that mistake.
    -------------
    You're the only one making the mistakes. Republicans voted him out of office, actually didn't show up to vote, because he broke the promise of those six little words that got him nominated in 1988, "Read my lips No new taxes." Bush had to raise them because the country couldn't afford the experiment with trickle down theory anymore. Debt was rising, unemployment was rising, and the economy was in a recession So, he raised taxes to restore balance to the cash flow through the US Treasury, and all was well.

    Except, Republicans hated him for breaking the sacred promise. They remembered his promise. They remembered his allegation that "trickle down" was "voodoo economics." They added it up, and it came up "traitor." "Poor George!"

    June 14, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Bill

    I think Bush is a better ex-president than he was a sitting one. And as much as I liked Clinton, I think Bush 41's loss in the election shows how far voters have their heads up their rear ends. Bush said he wouldn't raise/create taxes, and because of the recession he faced and the enormous debt rung up by Reagan, he had to reverse course and it cost him the election. Voters say one of their biggest concerns is our debt, but they will never vote for someone who forces them to make any real sacrifices to do it.

    June 14, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    I hope the film goes into depth particularly about Magog's(Bush) New World Order.

    June 14, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. caeser

    GHWB to GWB is kind of like having Billy Carter after Jimmy Carter.
    The old man actually had some credentials and life experience under his belt but the son had nothing.

    June 14, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Gary Owen 2/7

    I guess only a parent could love W.

    June 14, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. smknbluebear

    did anyone ask him where he was the day jfk was shot? why he made a bogus phone call to the fbi that same day? how does he feel now that his son has ruined the economy by starting two wars? did his son ever finish his national guard duty?

    June 14, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Robbie

    Remember his New World Order speech?

    June 14, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I give respect to him because he's an old former President and we all should, but I didn't like his policies.

    June 14, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |