All presidents have critics within their own parties. Some Republicans, for example, lament President Trump’s occasional lack of decorum. More than a few GOP luminaries fretted over former President George W. Bush’s frequent solecisms. Yet it’s rare for a prominent politician to publicly renounce a sitting president of his own party during an election year. Consequently, it was surprising to see a Saturday New York Times story titled, “Vote for Trump? These Republican Leaders Aren’t on the Bandwagon.” Nor was one’s initial skepticism quelled when the article’s author claimed, “Former President George W. Bush won’t support the re-election of Mr. Trump,” with no supporting quote from Bush.
The story’s credibility collapsed completely when it attributed this revelation about Bush’s intentions, as well as those of his brother Jeb, to unnamed sources “familiar with their thinking.” Sure enough, when the Bush people got wind of this tale, they denounced it as just another manifestation of the Gray Lady’s penchant for fiction. Bush spokesman Freddy Ford, told the Texas Tribune, “This is completely made up. He is retired from presidential politics and has not indicated how he will vote.” Ford reiterated this statement to the Times, indicating that the former president would stay out of the election and speak only on policy issues, yet America’s “newspaper of record” has yet to correct the story.
Predictably, this fake news story has been uncritically parroted by the media without any reference to Mr. Ford’s vehement denial that there is any truth to the tale. The Week ran a story titled, “George W. Bush, other prominent Republicans won’t support Trump’s re-election.” Business Insider published a piece under the headline, “George W. Bush and Mitt Romney won’t support Trump in 2020.” The Hill ran an item titled, “Bush, Romney won’t support Trump reelection.” Even across the pond, the story was published by the Independent under the headline, “George W. Bush and Mitt Romney among Republicans who say they won’t back Trump re-election.” Three days later, the Times has made no effort to fix it. The Blaze reports,
A spokesman for former President George W. Bush is forcefully denying a recent New York Times article that alleges that the former commander-in-chief will not vote for President Donald Trump in the upcoming 2020 election.… The Times has not yet updated its article to include the statement from Ford. Instead, the paper buries this statement at the bottom of the post: “Freddy Ford, a spokesman for Mr. Bush, said the former president would stay out of the election and speak only on policy issues, as he did this week in stating that the country must ‘examine our tragic failures’ on race.”
The thrust of the New York Times article is that a significant number Republican leaders, including George W. Bush, are wrestling with their consciences about whether to endorse President Trump’s bid for a second term or support the presumptive Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden. If that passage didn’t make you laugh aloud, go back and read it again. Regardless of what “W” thinks of Donald Trump, there isn’t the slightest possibility that he will pull the lever for the feckless former vice president on November 3. Bush has spent his entire adult life at or near the center of power. He knows that the former VP can’t cut it. Yet there are people who indulge the fantasy that Bush may endorse Biden:
Bush’s voice has the singular power to reach moderate Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters, freeing them to walk away from the Party of Trump.… There is no question about whom Carter, Clinton and Obama plan to support. That leaves Bush holding the biggest stick here. Groups of leading conservative thinkers in The Lincoln Project and a new group including several former top GOP officials called Republican Voters Against Trump have set the table for Bush to speak up. If he announces he is voting for Biden, it will change some votes.
Juan Williams, the author of the above passage, still doesn’t understand why Trump won in 2016, and the former’s inability to grasp this reality is ubiquitous among America’s hilariously mislabeled “elites.” The driving force that propelled Trump to victory was the electorate’s desire to overthrow the hopelessly inept old order the Bush dynasty epitomizes. If Bush endorsed Biden, it would amount to a kiss of death. When the hoi polloi installed Donald Trump in the White House, their message to the ruling class was that they were done with the Bushes, finished with Republican “leaders” who can’t decide whether or not to endorse President Trump’s bid for a second term. In November, they will vote for Trump in much larger numbers than in 2016. A portent of this can be found in last week’s Pennsylvania primary:
As of press time, Trump had earned 94 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans’ primary votes.… Biden, who boasts Scranton as his hometown and has based his national campaign headquarters in Philadelphia, has earned just under 78 percent of his party’s support. Republicans have cast more than 861,000 GOP ballots for Trump while 734,000 Dem votes were cast for Biden. What’s more, only registered party members can vote in their party’s primary in this state and there are approximately 800,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in Pennsylvania.
All of which brings us back to that New York Times story about those “Republican Leaders” who can’t decide if they will support President Trump in November. In addition to misrepresenting former President Bush’s public position on Trump, the author of the essay is obviously delusional about its probable effect on the latter’s supporters. The Times hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory lately, and this latest fraud won’t enhance its credibility. Even worse for the New York Times editorial crew, it works in Trump’s favor. His supporters tend to take the position that anyone the Republican Establishment dislikes can’t be all bad.