While members of the Bush family have not endorsed a presidential candidate, members of their past presidential administrations have split their support between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
George W. Bush’s first defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that he couldn’t imagine not voting for Trump, in an interview with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren on June 22.
Rumsfeld said that Clinton was a “known known” and that Trump was a “known unknown”—a reference to a famous quote by Rumsfeld from a news briefing in 2002 about Iraq’s supply of weapons of mass destruction. He then went on to list the reasons why he would not vote for Clinton.
Trump, who has been critical of the Bush administration for their decision to invade Iraq, thanked the former defense secretary on Twitter.
Thank you to Donald Rumsfeld for the endorsement. Very much appreciated. Clinton’s conduct has been “disqualifying.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2016
Rumsfeld joins former Vice President Dick Cheney who has also come out in support of Donald Trump.
However, others in the elder Bush’s administration have crossed partisan lines and endorsed Hillary Clinton. National security adviser to President H.W. Bush and President Gerald Ford, Brent Scowcroft, has come out in support of Clinton.
“She brings deep expertise in international affairs and a sophisticated understanding of the world, which I believe are essential for the commander-in-chief,” Scowcroft said in a statement.
Snowcroft joins Richard Armitage, a deputy secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, as prominent Republicans who have served in national security positions that have said they will support Clinton over Trump.
“If Donald Trump is the nominee, I would vote for Hillary Clinton,” Armitage told Politico last week.
“He doesn’t appear to be a Republican, he doesn’t appear to want to learn about issues. So, I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton,” he continued.
The Bush family has said that they’re going to sit out this presidential election—Jeb, George H.W. and George W. have all given statements saying that they were not planning to attend the Republican convention in Cleveland in July.
However, George W. Bush recently announced that he would be on the campaign trail for endangered senators in order to help Republicans keep the senate majority, according to a report by the New York Times.
Former presidential candidate and governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, was a favorite target for Trump during the Republican primaries. Bush came out against Trump in a Facebook post after Trump clinched the Republican nomination. Jeb criticized him for his temperament and not being a “consistent conservative.”