The first President George Bush — who famously breached his own "No New Taxes" vow — attacks the man who now holds Republicans to a similar pledge in a new interview.
"Who the hell is Grover Norquist anyway?" Bush asked in an interview to be published in Sunday's Parade
The 41st president said he has no time for pledges such as the one that Norquist asks elected officials to sign saying they will never vote to increase taxes.
"The rigidity of those pledges is something I don’t like. The circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist," he said in excerpts of the interview published on the magazine's website.
Bush told interviewer Mark Updegrove that he learned "decency, honor, and kindness" from Ronald Reagan during his two terms as the Gipper's vice president.
"He was a remarkable man and a kind guy—and generous. He didn’t care about the day-to-day legislation and amending the previous motion and all that kind of stuff. He was broad-gauged.”
He said the proudest accomplishments of his own four year tenure in the White House were the liberation of Kuwait and the honorable nature of his administration —which he said was "relatively scandal free and blessed by good people."
His wife Barbara added another. "40 million people now have jobs they can get to because of the Americans with Disabilities Act. You can’t not count that,” she said.
The 88-year-old former president made light of the vascular Parkinsonism which affects his ability to walk.
"It’s not painful. You tell your legs to move and they don’t move. It’s strange, but if you have to have some bad-sounding disease, this is a good one to get." he said.
Other subjects the former president and first lady commented on included the family’s friendship with former president Bill Clinton, whom Bush calls “a very knowledgeable, bright man,” the pride they felt for their son George W.'s leadership post-9/11, and the reunification process political parties experience after the primaries — "I mean, you’re not very pleased with people who whip you verbally for months and then you turn around and you’re friends," Bush said. "But that’s the way it goes in both parties."
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