President Donald Trump dismissed criticism from former first lady Barbara Bush detailed in a new book, saying he was not surprised by her words given that he had defeated her son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
“I have heard that she was nasty to me, but she should be,” the president told The Washington Times in an interview published on Thursday. “Look what I did to her sons.”
Trump was responding to Bush’s characterization of him in “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of a Dynasty,” a biography of the wife of former President George Bush. Bush, who died last year, referred to Trump as a “symbol of greed” in an interview with the book’s author, Susan Page.
“Look, she’s the mother of somebody that I competed against. Most people thought he was going to win and he was quickly out. I hit him very hard in South Carolina,” the president said.
“Remember? He was supposed to win South Carolina and I won it in a landslide. I hit him so hard,” Trump reportedly added. “That’s when his brother came to make the first speech for him,” Trump continued. “And I said, ‘What took you so long?’”
In the same book, Page wrote that Barbara Bush reportedly blamed Trump for the worsening of her congestive heart failure, which Page says grew more severe around the time Trump secured the GOP nomination for president in June of 2016.
“Barbara Bush blamed Donald Trump for her heart attack,” Page wrote.
“It wasn’t technically a heart attack, though she called it that,” the book continues. “It was a crisis in her long battle with congestive heart failure and chronic pulmonary disease that hit her like a sledgehammer one day in June 2016” when Trump secured the nomination.