Rumsfeld: Not Surprised Bush 41 Voted for Hillary

The country is better off with Trump than Clinton, the former defense secretary tells 'The Ingraham Angle'

by Jim Stinson | Updated 07 Dec 2017 at 6:27 AM

It’s not surprising former President George H.W. Bush voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president, said former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

But Rumsfeld parted ways with the two former Bush presidents and pulled the lever for Republican Donald Trump in 2016, Rumsfeld said Wednesday night on “The Ingraham Angle.”

"I voted for Trump and I wouldn't have voted for Hillary," Rumsfeld told host Laura Ingraham. "And I get up in the morning and say to myself, 'I think the country is better off today than if we had Hillary in the presidency.'"

Neither the elder Bush nor the younger Bush president, George W. Bush, voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. The elder Bush voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to Fox News. The younger President Bush skipped the race.

Related: Ingraham Strikes Back at 'Bitter Bushes'

Rumsfeld agreed with President George W. Bush's gruff remark that former Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld didn't make the "big" decisions, such as the Iraq War of 2003. The younger Bush told author Mark K. Updegrove, in 2016, that Cheney and Rumsfeld "didn't make one f***ing decision."

Rumsfeld served as the younger President Bush's secretary of defense from 2001 to 2006. (Rumsfeld also served as defense secretary for President Gerald Ford, from 1975 to 1977.)

"I get up in the morning and say to myself, 'I think the country is better off today than if we had Hillary in the presidency.'"

"George W. Bush ... was the decider," said Rumsfeld. "He was the president of the United States. Cheney wasn't, I wasn't. And he's exactly correct in his statement, and it was kind of, I think, a stiff-arming of his father by saying that ... Obviously, he's talking about big decisions and he was the president and he made those big decisions. Cheney didn't, and Rumsfeld didn't. Obviously, Cheney gave advice to the president as vice president, and I made an awful lot of decisions relating to the Defense Department, but not presidential-level decisions."

The older Bush president, President George H.W. Bush, told a writer in 2015 that Rumsfeld hurt the public's image of his son's presidency.

"I don't like what Rumsfeld did and I think it hurt the president having his iron-ass view of everything," said the elder Bush. "I've never been that close to him, anyway. There's a lack of humility, a lack of seeing what the other guy thinks. I think he paid a price for that. Rumsfeld was an arrogant fellow."

Rumsfeld said the elder Bush was always a competitive and ambitious fellow, and his remarks could be a sign of old competitive feelings because they both served in the House of Representatives in the 1960s.

Related: Bushes Take Swings at President Trump

"He came into the Congress and basically wanted to be president," Rumsfeld said of the elder Bush. "I was in Congress when he arrived. And he comes in ... and he was constantly running for president. And he wanted to be president and he got it. He made it by becoming Reagan's vice president. And he was very ambitious and he felt competitive with me during that period."

Rumsfeld indicated to Ingraham he wouldn't return fire, and make harsher remarks about old Republican colleagues.

"I don't get up and say things like that about other people, myself," Rumsfeld said.

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