Barbara Bush no longer considered herself a Republican after Trump was elected

Barbara Bush 1925:2018 Former First Lady

There’s an official new Barbara Bush biography out, based on her interviews, diaries and memories from her friends and family. She also allowed this biographer to spend a lot of time with her in her final year on this earth. The book is The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty. Barbara Bush really was known as a battleax of a woman, and no surprise, she absolutely loathed Donald Trump. USA Today published some excerpts from the book and whew, Babs was not playing around. The only thing that bugs me is that she didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton – Barbara saw how destructive Trump would be, but she still couldn’t force herself to vote for Hillary. Some highlights:

Her heart attack: Barbara Bush blamed Donald Trump for her heart attack. It wasn’t technically a heart attack, though she called it that. 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. An ambulance was called to take her to the hospital. The two former presidents who had been at home with her that day, her husband and her oldest son, trailed in a car driven by the Secret Service. The tumultuous presidential campaign in general and Trump’s ridicule of son Jeb Bush in particular had riled her. “Angst,” she told me.

Whether she still considered herself a Republican during the Trump administration: In an interview with me in October 2017, she answered that question yes. When I asked her again four months later, in February 2018, she said, “I’d probably say no today.”

She hated Trump’s Russian ties: “Putin endorsed him, for heaven’s sake,” Barbara Bush erupted. “Putin the killer! Putin the worst! He endorsed Trump! That’s an endorsement you don’t want.”

How she voted: “I don’t understand why people are for him,” she said in one interview. In another, she expressed astonishment that women could support him. George Bush ended up voting for Hillary Clinton, the first time in his life that he had cast a ballot for a Democrat for president. Barbara Bush wrote in Jeb’s name on the last day of early voting. “I could not vote for Trump or Clinton,” she wrote in her diary.

Her Trump countdown clock: She didn’t hide her horror [at Trump’s win] from those close to her. After Trump was elected, a friend in Kennebunkport gave her a Trump countdown clock as a joke. The red, white, and blue digital clock displayed how many days, hours, minutes and seconds remained in Trump’s term. She parked it on the side table in her bedroom, next to the chair she would sit in to needlepoint or watch television. She liked the countdown clock so much that when the Bushes returned to Houston that October, she brought it with her. It sat on her bedside table, where she could see it every day. It was there to the day she died.

[From USA Today]

I read a story in 2017 about a man dying of cancer, I think, who was in palliative care. He was in and out of awareness towards the end, but he was obsessed with living to see Trump impeached. His family told him on his deathbed that Trump had been impeached and it made him so happy in his final moments. That story has always stuck with me. I feel like Barbara Bush probably was right, that her health problems were made worse by the stress and shock of Trump’s election, and seeing fascism’s march in America. Ugh.

Barbara Bush Reported In Failing Health

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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42 Responses to “Barbara Bush no longer considered herself a Republican after Trump was elected”

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  1. Mumbles says:

    Eh. Did she consider herself a Republican when her husband’s buddies were running the Willie Horton ad against Dukakis? Point being, Trump didn’t happen by accident. He didn’t just “arrive” at the GOP. He’s a product of it.

    And yet she still couldn’t bring herself to vote for Clinton, huh? Well, guess what, you were part of the problem?

    I never got the appeal of this woman. Yeah yeah yeah she let her hair go gray and was tart and didn’t diet herself into a skeleton. So what. She was mean!

    • aang says:

      Yes. Her hands are as orange as every other republican that hopped on the neocon Reagan train.

    • Raina says:

      There was an article about her in the early 90s, maybe Vanity fair, that really nailed her down. The fact these people choose to pretend their hands are clean is boggling.
      #GeorgeBushneverforget #Firstandsecond

      It only hits ya when its a hit ON ya.
      This is why I hate fukking Republicans.

    • Wisca says:

      Her descendants got that tax cut tho. She and ALL of them are classist, selfish bigots (except for their love of their brown descendants).

  2. lower case lila says:

    I know a few Republicans who told me that after Trump got elected they were no longer a Republican. It wasn’t the party they knew anymore. Some I think even went through a existential crises.

    • Monicack says:

      No. It was conservative elitism. Trump’s brash, new money ass-holery flew in the face of how the GOP wanted to be seen. But trust me, the politics are the same. Trump is just the gum-popping cousin with untouched roots and a knock-off Coach bag at the family reunion. Cringeworthy but still family.

    • BuddyJack says:

      (Raises hand in a Yes, me too kind of way.). I’ll see myself out.

    • Himmiefan says:

      That’s when I left the party. No crisis here though. I’m firmly country over party. I’m currently an independent, but if the Dems move towards the center, then I could easily change.

      • Wisca says:


        We’re moving left so that people don’t die of preventable issues associate with poverty or some health crisis. I assume that’s not center enough for you though.

      • SK says:

        See, by global standards, the Dems are centre-right. So for them to “move towards the centre” would actually mean them becoming more left wing. The USA doesn’t actually have a major party that is left wing. It is vaguely amusing to us foreigners when the Democrats are painted as left wing because they are not left wing at all.

      • Himmiefan says:


        If you want to win the White House, then you have to attract the Independents and the never-Trump Reps, and you can’t do that with a left-wing candidate, only with a centrist.

        Also, if you want people to see things your way, then don’t put them down. Putting people down just confirms their viewpoint and makes them see you as wrong.

  3. Amide says:

    Whatever Babs.😒😒
    The Bush family’s sense of entitlement is 😭😝😝
    She was just miffed cause it was ‘ Jebby’s’ turn and Trump deprived the dynasty of their ‘rightful’ place.

    • Betsy says:

      I keep reading this on twitter, mostly from right wing extremists. All sane people think Trump is one of the worst individuals ever to happen to the US.

  4. BlueSky says:

    I have a former HS teacher who’s a Republican and took to FB to let everyone know that they are the worst if they voted for him.

  5. Zip says:

    Could we please stop white-washing Republicans just because they do not like Trump? The Bushes and McCains (and whoever else had a lot of power on their hands) stood for and approved of a lot of evil political decisions for many, many years that hurt lots of people.

  6. Lizzie says:

    whatever her reasons for not liking trump – she went on a national television and denounced him saying that she couldn’t see how any right minded woman could vote for him. that is more that any. single. establishment. republican. did at the time. even her own husband and sons. so even though the bush family is a stain on our nation’s history – that was pretty cool.

    • Raina says:

      Um. Lizzie, that’s because they were insulting her son. She did zero for women. And anyone could insult her son for his intelligence. I bet even she was confused regarding which idiot kid they were talking about

  7. KBeth says:

    Eh, I don’t even see Trump as a republican just a vile excuse for a human being.

  8. Veronica says:

    The Bush family needs to take a damn seat along with any other Republican trying to distance themselves from Trump. This current administration wouldn’t exist without Dubya setting the stage post-9/11 for this garbage. Longest running war in American history, utterly destabilized Middle Eastern countries, and a population fueled by terror and xenophobia to justify it. The only moment of reckoning that ever happened for these people was a thrown shoe, a miniscule punishment against the scale of the million plus dead as a result of these wars.

  9. Lightpurple says:

    The Bush family lobbied to get Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. They can go away.

  10. Justwastingtime says:

    Too little, too late.

  11. Cee says:

    She doesn’t understand how women could vote for him yet she voted for JEB? When she could have voted for HRC to keep Trump out? Cry me a river.

    • Monicack says:

      I don’t think it’s realistic to think she would not vote for her own son, gender notwithstanding.

      • Cee says:

        He didn’t have a chance. It’s like voting for a third party. You vote to oppose the idiotic candidate ie Trump.

      • Kendra says:

        Cee, in the end one vote doesn’t matter and it’s emotionally important to be able to vote for your own child.

  12. antipodean says:

    Some days I am just over-come by the horror of the everyday debasing of basic human values that should be endorsed by all, no matter what political stripe! The person/imposter in the White House shouldn’t even be allowed into civilised society, let alone the highest office in the land. I keep wondering when we will actually hit rock bottom! When will enough be enough? This country should be revolting en masse at how our democratic society is being chipped away at, and degraded, on a daily basis to the point where even common decency is sneered at, and the most wealthy/whitest/privileged will ride roughshod over all in the scramble for power and greed at all costs.
    It literally hurt my heart to see that lovely picture of Obama smiling. To think what we have lost, or have simply allowed to be thrown away seems unconscionable to me. How can this happen in the land of the free and the home of the brave? Is there any hope?

  13. Yup, Me says:

    This balled up paper bag looking woman and her “beautiful mind” can stfu. And stay that way.

    Let her family mourn her and the rest of us forget her as best we can.

  14. NeoCleo says:

    I’ve ignored her ever since she uttered those despicable words about the poor people forced to stay in a stadium during Hurricane Katrina. There was violence, rape, no water, no toilet facilities and she had the UNMITIGATED gall to say that this was a step up for most of “these people.” She was a disgusting racist.

    • Lightpurple says:

      My mom could never see Barbara Bush without going on a rant about what she said about Geraldine Ferraro.

  15. Nancy says:

    Chuckling to myself as it appears some don’t realize Barbara B. has been dead for a year.

  16. thaliasghost says:

    Come on. As if the Bush government didn’t sell out its own people and specifically the entire population of the Middle Eastern world for oil money. As IF they didn’t cut the funds of any aid organization supporting reproductive family planning to women. Let’s not make these people any better than they are just because Trump isn’t either.

  17. Lala11_7 says:

    Yea…when I think of all of the crimes against humanity that her husband performed as the head of the CIA and as VP/POTUS…pushing crack to Black and Brown folks…The Shah of Iran…so much horror…and HER SON laid the infrastructure for the election fraud that Tramp used to get into the WH….so she…and ALL HER LINEAGE can go somewhere with that mess….

  18. adastraperaspera says:

    Bush family members like Barbara are unreliable narrators in our American story.

    We do need unity with NeverTrumpers. But like Kaiser said earlier, we also need to understand history as it happened. The Bush dynasty grew out of the 19th century railroad monopolies and then into many other industries like banking and rubber–it metastisized into politics for the sole purpose of controlling wealth. For these reasons and more, the Bush family operates as an anti-democratic force. Someone like Elizabeth Warren understands this, which is why her primary goals are to break up monopolies and regulate banking and Wall Street.

  19. Prairiegirl says:

    I would like one of those Trump Term Countdown clocks tho.

  20. Raina says:

    The Bush family is dirty. Very very very dirty.
    The worst thing about Don the con is that he made them look better by comparison.
    All of them can rot. Karma-wise, I want them ALL to enjoy what they have done or been party to.
    Why do these people become heroes if enough time passed? I remember everything. Just because we got a worse guy as president, all is forgiven??
    The enemy of my enemy is my friend?
    Nope. Not in my book
    You’re all assholes

  21. lucy2 says:

    Ol’ Babs didn’t like Trump? Great. Doesn’t mean she was a good person, or that her family didn’t do much, much harm to the country, and the world.

    • Christin says:

      Agree. This has been the family’s best opportunity to reframe a very soiled history.

      My FIL was days from passing and therefore not always coherent. His hospital room TV was tuned to a news broadcast featuring then-prez GWB. He looked at the screen and started rapidly motioning to change the channel. He could not stand him. We still get a smile from that memory.

  22. Seri says:

    About USA and Russia, if Russia was engaged into the US elections then Putin made a poor choice, as there are no benefis for Russia from Trump’s presidency. If one looks directly at the facts : Russia is still heavily sanctioned and keeps getting new, Russian gas is being pushed out of Europe by USA and NATO is getting closer to Russian boarders. Theses are facts from the surface. Maybe Trump promised Putin an asylum when Putin’s time is over.