September 10th, 2007
03:46 PM ET
15 years ago

Rumsfeld on whether he misses Bush: 'No'

Bush announces Rumsfeld's resignation November 8, 2006, the day after the midterm elections.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Donald Rumsfeld served as President Bush's Secretary of Defense for six years, but he told GQ magazine he doesn't miss his old boss and the two now rarely talk.

In an issue set to hit the newsstands on Sept. 25, Rumsfeld tells the magazine he still likes Bush but can't recall the last time he spoke with the president.

And asked directly if he misses the president, Rumsfeld told the Magazine, "Um, no."

But Rumsfeld offered Bush praise, and claimed that he is a victim of the media not giving him enough credit in a similar fashion that previous Republican presidents have had to endure.

"Just think, in my lifetime, the Republican presidential candidates: Dwight D. Eisenhower, considered to be a bumbler, bad syntax. Gerald Ford, the best athlete they had in decades, and they called him a stumblebum and demeaned him and made fun of him. Said he wasn't smart, which he was. He'd gone to Michigan, he'd gone to Yale Law School. I mean… And Ronald Reagan. You read his diaries now, and the man is remarkable - and yet he was dismissed as a movie actor and not very smart.”

Rumseld added, "So, I mean the fact that President Bush is demeaned is no different than Eisenhower or Ford or Reagan. And the fact that people believe that to be the case is not a surprise when they're told it day in, day out, by the, uh, eastern media."

Rumsfeld was also frank about his relationship with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, with whom he repeatedly butted heads.

"No! We're not close, never were," he said of Powell when asked if he missed the former secretary of state.

Rumsfeld, who officially resigned the day before the 2006 midterm elections (a move that was not announced until the day after), also said he likely would have stayed on at the Pentagon if Republicans held control of Congress. (Related: Rumsfeld's resignation letter)

"It was very clear in my mind that if the Democrats won the House or the Senate or both, that it made sense for met to…that it would be best for the department if someone else was there," he said.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Donald Rumsfeld
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Sarah, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    My favorite part!!! On the anniversary of 9/11, Britney Spears still makes the front page!! COME ON AMERICA!!! I'm with the guy from Australia....

    September 11, 2007 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  2. ex-Bush supporter

    The fact is – President Bush is NOT smart. He failed at every business venture he embarked on...and he has failed as President. He has mis-managed this country, divided it and turned Americans against each other by questioning the patriotism of people who disagree with him. He has alienated needed allies across the globe. He is a divider, not a "decider".

    Despite valiant (but failed) efforts of FOX news and other supporters to link him with Churchill and truly great leaders, it is quite clear to the American people, and to the world, that a smart man he is not. That is, if you are equating "smart" with "intelligence". As far as "dividing to conquer"..yes, he is "smart".

    September 11, 2007 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  3. Bill Charleston SC

    Thank you to JeremyT in Australia. It's sad that only outside of America do we find the truth about our country. We have definitely gone soft. We have not the stomach for tough battles any longer. We're much more concerned about whether Steve and Bob may marry than whether we rid the world of terrorists who threaten our way of life. I for one would vote for President Bush again if I had the chance.

    September 11, 2007 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  4. Sue, Midland, MI

    Rumsfeld is still the company man. If he doesn't build up his boss, what does that make him? But to put Bush in the same sentence as the others...well, just shows you how smart Rumsfeld himself is. And what does Ford's athletic ability have to do with anything? Sounds like Rummy spent a few years too many trying to make sense of Bush's orders....

    September 11, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. roger, conway sc

    TO-Jeremy T, Australia

    If we americans seem to have lost our pride, less patriotic and admired it is because of this president & his administration...if you like him so much please buy him a kangroo and beg him to come to Australia to live...

    September 11, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. Mark, Akron OH

    Hmmm Rummy didn't mention Richard Nixon. I wonder why.... Of course everyone was kind to Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The media maybe backed off of them because they felt there was nothing left on the carcass after the Republicans were through with them.

    September 11, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Ron Nebraska

    Holy crap Bill! please desist from voting anymore! With your reasoning ability you'd be better off cleaning the lint out of your naval on election day!

    September 11, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  8. Sunny, Southampton, NY

    Rumsfeld did so much harm while he was in the White House that it will take years for many to understand the extent of the damage caused by his arrogance and closemindedness. I am glad he's gone. He, Chenney and Bush collectively have hurt the country and the Republican party enormously. I will not be voting Republican in the next presidential election and I am hearing from other Republicans that they will not either.

    September 12, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Rummy Dummy

    was I one of the architechs of the Iraq war disaster?.......You bet! Did I think I could accomplish the Iraq mission with just 30,000 troops.......golly yes! Did I overrule respected generals opinions on how to go about the Iraq invasion?.......heavens yes! Am I a seriously disturbed old man? possibly psychotic?.........without a doubt!!!!

    September 12, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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