Former President George H.W. Bush, blasted Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in a new book about the 41st president. He believes they reacted badly after the 9/11 attacks and became too inflexible, too hawkish which ultimately tarnished the reputation of America around the world.
I'd say that's a little mild for my liking, but he's certainly not wrong:
As an ex-president, George H.W. Bush has generally maintained a respectful silence regarding later administrations. But now he's speaking out, criticizing some big names, and not in ways you might expect.
As revealed in the new Jon Meacham biography, "Destiny And Power: The American Odyssey Of George Herbert Walker Bush," the 41st president has some harsh words for the actions of his son's administration.
In particular, he objects to how Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reacted to 9/11. He feels they were too hawkish, taking a harsh, inflexible stance that tarnished America's reputation around the world.
"I don't know, he just became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with," Bush told Meacham. "The reaction [to 9/11], what to do about the Middle East. Just iron-ass. His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East ..."
The elder Bush believes Cheney -- who had been his own defense secretary back when he held the White House -- acted too independently of his son. "The big mistake that was made was letting Cheney bring in kind of his own State Department," Bush said, apparently referring to the national security team that the vice president assembled in his office.
The 41st president suggested to Meacham that Cheney may even have been pushed toward a harder line by his conservative wife and daughter, Liz and Lynne. "You know, I've concluded that Lynne Cheney is a lot of the eminence grise here ... tough as nails, driving," Bush is quoted as saying.
He also comes out in favor of gay marriage as well.