The Washington Post published a story on Thursday detailing the long complicated relationship between Donald Trump and the Bush family. According to some locals connected to state politics, Trump has been against Jeb Bush for a long time and has never missed the opportunity to voice his dislike.
“He was trashing Jeb and, quite honestly, I don’t think he’s ever held Jeb in high regard,” said Crisafulli, a Bush supporter who said he was “uncomfortable” with the conversation and defended the former Florida governor to Trump. “I’ve met with Mr. Trump on several occasions, and he’s constantly had things to say about Jeb. . . . He’s always had a negative connotation about Jeb.”
While Trump professes to having held patriarch George H. W. Bush in high regard prior to his reversal on his promise to not raise taxes, it was a feeling that may have only rarely been reciprocated.
At the core, there are clashes of style, manner and class between the Bushes — a patrician clan of presidents, governors and financiers who have pulled the levers of power for generations — and Trump, a hustling New York City deal-maker who turned his father’s outer-borough real estate portfolio into a gold-plated empire.
“The Bushes were never Trump’s cup of tea,” said Roger Stone, a longtime confidant and former adviser to Trump. Asked why the Bushes often have kept Trump at arm’s length, he said: “He’s not from old, WASP money. The Trumps didn’t come on the Mayflower.”
On the other hand Trump hosted a fundraiser in 1997 for Jeb Bush’s candidacy for governor of Florida at the request of his father, an event that by all accounts was quite successful.
“I had a fundraiser and raised about $1 million, which in those days was a lot of money,” Trump said. “In fact, I remember [Jeb Bush] saying, ‘It was the most successful fundraiser I’ve ever had.’ ”
Trump said George H.W. Bush wrote him “a beautiful note thanking me for helping with his son.”
Nevertheless, Trump’s swipes at the elder Bush continued and extended onto the pages of his 2000 book, “The America We Deserve.” In it, he said the 41st president “failed to comprehend that he was in the bubble created by the American presidency and simply lost touch.”
In that same book, Trump praised Jeb Bush as a “good man” who is “exactly the kind of political leader this country needs now and will very much need in the future. . . . I believe we could get another president from the Bushes.”
As for Trump’s relationship with George W. Bush, Trump had considered a run against Bush and Gore in 2000 on the Reform Party ticket, and sniped at Bush in the run up to the election. Later he would be a steady critic of Bush policies and said Bush was “a horrible president — possibly the worst in the history of this country.”