George W. Bush: Cheney, Rumsfeld ‘didn’t make one f---ing decision’
© Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush pushed back against the perception that he did not have a major decision-making role in the White House during his presidency, offering a blunt criticism of former Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a new book: They "didn’t make one f---ing decision."

Bush made the comment to author Mark K. Updegrove in "The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush," saying Rumsfeld and Cheney “didn’t make one f---ing decision" while he was president. 

“The fact that there was any doubt in anyone’s mind about who the president was, blows my mind,” the 43rd president continued. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Updegrove's book delves into the relationship between George W. Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, as well as their experiences in and out of the Oval Office. 

"Anyone who knows the 43rd president would find that notion of anyone making decisions in his White House absolutely ludicrous," Updegrove told The Hill. 

"George W. Bush took exception to those who believed that Dick Cheney, in particular, was calling the shots in the White House. That Dick Cheney was this Machiavellian puppet master of George W. Bush. Anyone who knows George W. Bush knows that he has this reflexive ease in decision-making," he said. 

"Those around him saw that in the White House, so it's understandable that George W. Bush would have a problem with those, including his mother at a certain point, who believed that Dick Cheney had too much power."

While the elder Bush said that he did not worry about Cheney's influence on his son's presidency, former first lady Barbara Bush said there was a time where she frequently voiced her concerns about Cheney's influence over her son. 

“I do think he was different,” the former first lady told Updegrove. “I think his heart operation made a difference. I always liked him but I didn’t like him so much for a while because I thought he hurt George [W]. I think he pushed things a little too far right."

The book, which is set to be released on Nov. 14, has already made headlines for the two former presidents' candid assessment of President Trump. 

“I don’t like him,” George H.W. Bush, who voted for Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE, says in the book. “I don’t know much about him, but I know he’s a blowhard. And I’m not too excited about him being a leader.”

The younger Bush, who did not vote for Trump or Clinton, said he was concerned about the growing "nativism" and "isolationism" when the campaign began, which contributed to his concerns about Trump. 

The White House responded to the former presidents on Saturday by attacking their legacies. 

"The American people voted to elect an outsider who is capable of implementing real, positive, and needed change - instead of a lifelong politician beholden to special interests,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to The Hill. “If they were interested in continuing decades of costly mistakes, another establishment politician more concerned with putting politics over people would have won.”

In another statement reported by CNN, a White House source slammed the Bush legacy.

“If one presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had,” the White House said.