“President Bush, to me, embarrassed himself”
That’s Steve Bannon going on the attack against ex-President George W. Bush, bashing the former U.S. leader’s intelligence at a Republican convention on Friday.
His no-holds-barred speech in Anaheim, Calif., comes just days after Bush criticized the populist wave that lifted former White House strategist Bannon and President Donald Trump.
In a video published by CNN, Bannon suggests Bush hadn’t understood what his “high-falutin’” comments, written by a speech writer, had actually meant.
“It’s clear he didn’t understand anything he was talking about,” Bannon says. “He equates the industrial revolution, the Arab cultural revolution, globalization — he has no earthly idea whether he’s coming or going.”
Next, Bannon takes a protectionist and trade tack, saying the rise of China began with the Clintons and Bush. “There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush’s,” he says.
What did the 43rd President say in his speech that could have prompted Bannon’s tirade? In what’s being seen as a veiled swipe at Trump, Bush says the U.S. is suffering from a “crisis of confidence” that has seen “nationalism distorted into nativism.”
“The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy. Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication,” Bush said at a New York forum, according to a Time report.
It’s not the first time Bannon has ridden out against the Republican establishment. Earlier in October, he criticized Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, warning of a swath of primary challenges in 2018 and warning lawmakers that fail to defend President Donald Trump will pay a price.