AP

Barbara Bush Saw Trump As A ‘Symbol Of Greed’

Apr 1, 2019, 7:46 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:12 pm
Former first lady Barbara Bush (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barbara Bush didn’t bite her tongue in recent years when it came to Donald Trump: She just didn’t like him. But a new biography of the former first lady finds that her disdain for the Republican president, who transformed the party her own family had embodied for generations into his likeness, dates as least as far back as a 1990s diary entry.

She referred to Trump in the entry as “the real symbol of greed in the 80s.”

Mrs. Bush, who was 92 when she died last April , gave Susan Page, author of “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty,” access to volumes of her diaries, which she began keeping in 1948. The former first lady recounts in a January 1990 entry about reading a news article on Trump speaking at a Los Angeles charity awards dinner for Merv Griffin. Former President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, attended the gala, and Trump needled the former president over pricey speeches he had given in Japan.

Mrs. Bush later showed a friend news clips about Trump’s separation from his first wife, Ivana, and noted that allies of the soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Trump were saying a $25 million settlement in the prenuptial agreement she signed wouldn’t be enough.

“The Trumps are a new word, both of them,” Mrs. Bush wrote. “Trump now means Greed, selfishness and ugly. So sad.”

Her dislike of Trump spiked more recently over the way he belittled her son, Jeb, when the New York businessman and the former Florida governor competed for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Trump also had criticized other members of the Bush clan, including George W. Bush over starting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today, also reveals that Mrs. Bush blamed Trump for causing her “angst” during the 2016 election – she called it a “heart attack” – and leading her to question whether she was still a Republican. Asked in the months before she died whether she still considered herself a Republican, Mrs. Bush answered: “I’d probably say no today.”

The book, based also on five interviews Page conducted with Mrs. Bush, is due in bookstores Tuesday. It comes nearly a year after the passing of the second woman in U.S. history to be the wife of one president and the mother of another.

The former first lady had drafted a tongue-in-cheek letter to send after the November 2016 election welcoming former President Bill Clinton to the club of first spouses. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Clinton, was the Democratic candidate, and Mrs. Bush thought, as did many voters, that she would be the next president.

The letter never saw a mailbox. She woke up the morning after the election “and discovered, to my horror, that Trump had won.”

Weeks later, however, she wrote to Melania Trump. At the time, Mrs. Trump was the subject of intense speculation over whether she would relocate to the White House from her family’s penthouse at New York’s Trump Tower. Mrs. Bush encouraged the incoming first lady to do what was best for her and for the couple’s young son, Barron. Mrs. Trump attended her predecessor’s funeral.

Until the day she died, Mrs. Bush also kept on her bedside table a red, white and blue digital clock, given to her as a joke, that counted down to the end of Trump’s term.

Mrs. Bush, who had been living in constant pain, fell and broke her back shortly before she died. In the hospital, after receiving the news that she was dying, she asked her doctor to keep it a secret. Once back at her Houston home, receiving only palliative care, she sat in the den holding hands with her husband of 73 years. They had the longest presidential marriage in U.S. history.

He gave “Bar,” as he called her, permission to die, and she gave her then-93-year-old husband permission to live.

Then they each had a drink: bourbon for Mrs. Bush, a vodka martini for the former president.

She died two days later.

___

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Vis...
Associated Press

Authorities: 2 arrested in California shooting that killed 6

A California sheriff says two gang members suspected in the massacre of six people last month in central California have been arrested, one after a gunbattle.
21 hours ago
This booking image provided by the Chicago Police Department, shows Eva Bratcher, who has been accu...
Associated Press

Daughter charged after mom’s body found in Chicago freezer

A Chicago woman is accused of keeping her mother’s dead body in a freezer for nearly two years while living in a nearby apartment.
2 days ago
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) leaves her office at the Longworth House Office Building on February 02...
Kevin Freking and Lisa Mascaro

House GOP votes to oust Democrat Omar from major committee

House Republicans have voted to oust Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
2 days ago
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast at the U.S. Capitol on F...
Colleen Long and Chris Megerian, Associated Press

Biden urges unity at prayer breakfast under new management

President Joe Biden attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday in Washington and delivered a message of unity.
2 days ago
FILE: Groundhog handler AJ Derume holds Punxsutawney Phil, who saw his shadow, predicting a late sp...
Associated Press

Phil’s Groundhog Day prediction: 6 more weeks of winter

A furry critter in a western Pennsylvania town has predicted six more weeks of winter during an annual Groundhog Day celebration.
2 days ago
Law enforcement officers aim their weapons at a home during a standoff in Grants Pass, Ore., on Tue...
Associated Press

Oregon kidnapping suspect dies of self-inflicted gunshot

The suspect in a violent kidnapping in Oregon has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Barbara Bush Saw Trump As A ‘Symbol Of Greed’