George & Laura Bush Likely to Keep Their 2020 Votes Private After Not Voting for Trump in 2016
A recent New York Times report said former President George W. Bush will not be voting for President Donald Trump in the upcoming 2020 election — after Bush did not vote for Trump four years ago — but a representative says he's actually staying mum on the matter.
Neither the former president nor his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, have said how they will vote in the November election between Trump and likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden, according to a Bush spokesman.
“President Bush is retired from presidential politics,” the spokesman says. “They have not indicated how they will vote, and I don’t suspect they will.”
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and nephew of President Bush, endorsed Trump in 2016 and recently said he will vote for him again this year, though other members of the Bush family have not expressed a similar enthusiasm — an unusual rift between one leading Republican family and the family that succeeded them.
President Bush, 73, did not vote for Trump in the last presidential election.
A spokesman told Politico at the time that he and the former first lady, also 73, voted for "none of the above" in the contest between Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but they voted for Republicans in local races.
Brother Jeb, 67, similarly declined to vote for Trump in 2016 after the two ran against each other for the Republican nomination.
Trump has been vocal in his criticism of Jeb, who said last year that another Republican candidate should challenge Trump, the sitting president, because GOP voters "ought to be given a choice," CNN reported.
Trump has taken notice of his one slice of Bush support, though, bringing George P. onstage at an event in Texas last year and calling him the “only Bush that likes me” and saying he's the “Bush that got it right.”
President Bush has been measured in his criticisms of Trump, rarely using his name or speaking out about his decisions as the current president. However, while on the campaign trail with his brother in 2016, the former president seemed to allude to Trump in saying that real strength was “not empty rhetoric, it is not bluster, it is not theatrics.”
“The strongest person usually isn’t the loudest one in the room,” President Bush added at the time.
Trump has rubbed other members of the Bush family the wrong way in the past.
The late Mrs. Bush once wrote in her diary that she believed Trump signified “[g]reed, selfishness, and ugly” and after the 2016 presidential election results were in, Mrs. Bush “woke up and discovered, to [her] horror, that Trump had won,” author Susan Page wrote in The Matriarch.
Shortly after the election, a friend gave Mrs. Bush a countdown clock showing “how many days, hours, minutes and seconds remained in Trump’s term,” and she kept it near her bed, Page wrote.
• Reporting by ADAM CARLSON