|Sen. Ted Cruz - Nov. 2015|
|Pres. George W. Bush - Nov. 2014|
Former President George W. Bush reportedly ripped into Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at a weekend gathering of donors to his brother's presidential campaign, according to a published report Monday.
Politico reported that Bush said of Cruz, "I just don't like the guy," at the event, which was held Sunday night in Denver.
According to the report, which cited at least six donors who were at the event, Bush said he did not like Cruz's de facto alliance with Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has notably spared Cruz from the criticism he has ladled onto other members of the 15-candidate Republican field.
"He said he found it 'opportunistic' that Cruz was sucking up to Trump and just expecting all of his support to come to him in the end," one donor told Politico when asked to describe Bush's remarks about Cruz. The report added that the former president had been engaging with amiable discussions about the state of the GOP race when Cruz's name came up.This is the same President who has not said a negative word about President Barack Obama since Obama's election in 2008 out of a sense of what's best for the presidency and the country. But, one of the top five candidates for his own party's presidential nomination is fair game for criticism on such a trivial issue (not publicly clashing with another Republican candidate) in such a petty way (I don't like him)? Sad.
How politically unusual such a negative comment was can be gauged by the reaction of one of the donors present at the meeting.
"I was like, 'Holy s---, did he just say that?'" the donor told Politico. "I remember looking around and seeing that other people were also looking around surprised."To his credit, Ted Cruz showed real class in responding that he "will always be grateful" to President Bush.
Cruz, in a written statement put out by the campaign on Tuesday, said he would not be "reciprocating" after the comments.Poor President Bush. He strains at a gnat* in not wanting to appear to criticize President Obama on Iran and ISIS policy just last April and swallows a camel in criticizing Cruz for being "opportunistic" in not clashing with Donald Trump.
"I have great respect for George W. Bush, and was proud to work on his 2000 campaign and in his administration," he said in the statement. "It's no surprise that President Bush is supporting his brother and attacking the candidates he believes pose a threat to his campaign. I have no intention of reciprocating. I met my wife Heidi working on his campaign, and so I will always be grateful to him."