Bush 41: Gingrich stood me up
December 22nd, 2011
04:28 PM ET
11 years ago

Bush 41: Gingrich stood me up

(CNN) - Former President George H.W. Bush has joined the ranks of former Republican associates of Newt Gingrich coming out against the White House hopeful.

Bush, who occupied the Oval Office from 1989 until 1993, a time when Gingrich was the House Republican whip, told the Houston Chronicle Thursday he was no promoter of Gingrich.

"I'm not his biggest advocate," Bush said. In the interview with the Texas newspaper, Bush backed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.

Bush relayed an anecdote from his time as president when Gingrich failed to show up at an important White House announcement.

"The plan was, we were all going to walk out into the Rose Garden and announce this deal," Bush said. "Newt was right there. Got ready to go out in the Rose Garden, and I said, 'Where's Gingrich?' Went up to Capitol Hill. He was here a minute ago. Went up there and started lobbying against the thing."

Bush said Gingrich later spoke to him about the incident.

"He told me one time later on, he said, 'This is the most difficult thing I ever had to do.' I said, 'I didn't like it much myself, Newt.'"

With his comments, Bush joins a roster of Republicans who worked with Gingrich during his time in the House who were left with bad impressions.

In early December, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn took issue with Gingrich's leadership style. Coburn served in the House of Representatives while Gingrich was House Speaker.

"I'm not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich's having served under him for four years and personally experiences his leadership," said Coburn said on "Fox News Sunday."

New York Republican Rep. Peter King, who was elected to the House in 1993, told CNN's Erin Burnett Gingrich was "erratic" and "self-centered."

"He'd be a terrible nominee," he said in early December.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • President George H.W. Bush
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Midwestmatt

    I never had a huge problem with 41 because he was basically a decent man. This just reinforces that.

    December 22, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. cigarman

    I was going to vote for Romney, but now that a BUSH has endorsed him, I cant do it.

    December 22, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There has been too much that Gingrich has done that can be seen as questionable. There are so many Republicans that are saying that they don't want Gingrich; not they want another candidate, but not Gingrich. That has to say something to some people. His own don't trust him.

    December 22, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
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