George W. Bush told Mitt Romney Rick Perry was dumber than him: book


Former President George W. Bush didn’t have the best things to say about his Texas successor at the governor’s mansion when he called Mitt Romney during the 2012 Republican presidential primary, according to a new book.

“People thought I was stupid. Well, wait till you get a load from this guy,” Bush told Romney, now a US Republican senator, about then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry, according to a rendition of the exchange in Dank for Your Servitude: Donald Trumps Washington and the Price of Submission.”

According to the book’s author, journalist Mark Leibovich, Bush made these comments after Perry entered the 2012 Republican presidential race. Perry served as lieutenant governor while Bush was governor, and then assumed the governorship of Texas when Bush ran for president.

Romney became the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, but lost to then-President Barack Obama.

Spokespersons for Bush, Perry and Romney did not respond to emails seeking comment on the book.

Leibovich’s book, out Tuesday, is packed with tidbits about Trump’s presidency and the congressional Republicans who supported him. Perry ran for president again in the 2016 cycle, but lost to Donald Trump. When Trump became president, he appointed Perry Secretary of Energy.

Leibovich writes of Perry that he “will never perish as a brilliant historian. Or as a brilliant anything.”

Perry, Texas’ longest-serving governor, isn’t known for being a chump, but he was a major political force in Texas.

News reports over the years have said that Perry and Bush had a long-simmering feud, although both have denied it existed, and other reports said the acrimony was between their aides.

Several events contributed to the rumours. When Bush was governor, he refused to appoint Perry’s brother-in-law, Joseph Thigpen, to the Texas Circuit Court of Appeals bench. Perry also said while running for a third term as governor that Bush was not a fiscal conservative, and prior to that race former President George HW Bush endorsed Perry’s GOP challenger, the then-senator. Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

“Privately, the former president has spoken of his successor as a political lightweight and someone who isn’t all that bright,” reads a 2011 Los Angeles Times article. “Perry behind closed doors scoffs at Bush’s privileged background and popularity at country club Republicans, suggesting the New England native is a fake Texan.

Bush has taken lightly his critics’ questions about his own intelligence over the years.

“As I like to say to C students, you too can be president,” he told Southern Methodist students during a 2015 graduation ceremony.


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