Donald Rumsfeld: Jeb Bush Losing Because Voters Don’t Want a ‘Dynasty’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said during an interview Monday that he believes Jeb Bush has not gained any traction in the GOP primary race because voters are not comfortable with a dynasty.

“I suppose there are some people that are uncomfortable with a dynasty — on the Democrat side or the Republican side,” Rumsfeld said during an interview with NBC’s Today host Matt Lauer.

“On the other hand, I think people are persuaded by someone who is capable of talking and thinking on their feet,” he continued. “And they compare the various candidates — 14, 15, 16 Republican candidates — and they’re making judgments about who’s the one who is most likely to be able to handle a difficult presidential campaign against the other party.”

Lauer also asked Rumsfeld to comment on excerpts from Jon Meacham’s biography of former President George H.W. Bush, titled, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.

41st president, George H.W. Bush, said about Rumsfeld:

I think he served the president [43rd president, George W. Bush] badly, I don’t like what he did, and I think it hurt the president having his iron-ass view of everything.

There’s a lack of humility, a lack of seeing what the other guy thinks. He’s more kick ass and take names, take numbers. I think he paid a price for that.

Rumsfeld responded that Bush 41’s criticism of him was not helping the Bush family name, particularly while his other son, Jeb, is running for president.

“I was amazed that he said what he said when he said it,” Rumsfeld said. “I didn’t think it was very complimentary of his son,” Bush 43. “I don’t think it was very helpful to his other son, who is running for president. I think it was a strange thing for him to be doing.”

Regarding his relationship with Bush 41, Rumsfeld said, “We were never close. He was kind of to-the-manor-born and I wasn’t.”


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