Bush Sr. praises McCain, muses about history and his son
That was the gist on Monday after he hosted the presumptive Republican presidential candidate at the lush Bush family compound in Maine.
Bush, the 41st president of the United States, had nothing but praise for McCain, the man he hopes will succeed his son, George W. Bush.
Bush let the Arizona senator take questions about Iraq and other hot topics of the day, which McCain did. Asked to comment about the appropriateness of Obama’s high profile trip to Europe, Bush demurred.
“A little jealous is all,” he said, noting he expected Germany to give the Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidadte a warm reception. “He’ll figure it out.”
And that was that. McCain had to leave for his next event but Bush appeared to enjoy the interaction with reporters, some of whom had covered him during his own White House years.
Some journalists poked around his property for a tour, which he was happy to let them do, while others stood and visited for a few affable minutes.
1) the Cold War and former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev (“When are we gonna see Gorby?” he asked an aide.)
2) Renewable energy. He pointed out a windmill on his property and bragged about the new Smart car belonging to his wife Barbara.
3) And his son, the 43rd U.S. president, who is close to ending an unpopular term in office. Bush said he hoped George W. would spend more time in Maine once he left Washington and admitted he would miss the access he has had to his former residence and White House staff.
But does Bush advise his son? Nope. At 84, he said the current president didn’t need advice from an old guy like him.
— Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (Republican presidential candidate John McCain and former President George Bush answer questions from reporters in Kennebunkport, Maine on July 21)