Former President George W. Bush, visiting Washington to attend President Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, privately told Representative James E. Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, that the congressman was “the savior” for serving to Mr. Biden safe the Democratic nomination and defeat President Donald J. Trump.
“George Bush said to me today, he said, ‘You know, you’re the savior, because if you had not nominated Joe Biden, we would not be having this transfer of power today,” Mr. Clyburn told reporters on a name after the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday. Mr. Clyburn’s endorsement of Mr. Biden within the Democratic major in South Carolina in February was credited with rescuing a marketing campaign that had faltered badly in Iowa and New Hampshire.
“He said to me that Joe Biden was the only one who could have defeated the incumbent president,” mentioned Mr. Clyburn, who chatted with Mr. Bush on the inaugural platform earlier than the ceremony and took a selfie with the previous president.
Mr. Bush’s workplace didn’t dispute the remark however characterised it extra as easy political evaluation, not a press release of gratitude to Mr. Clyburn for saving the nation from one other time period of Mr. Trump within the White House.
“This has been a bit overhyped,” mentioned Freddy Ford, Mr. Bush’s chief of employees. “President Bush was acknowledging the congressman’s role in saving President Biden’s candidacy — nothing more, nothing biblical.”
Mr. Bush isn’t any fan of Mr. Trump, who beat his brother Jeb Bush for the Republican nomination in 2016. That fall, the previous president voted for “none of the above” slightly than casting a poll for Mr. Trump; his father, former President George Bush, voted for Hillary Clinton; his mom, Barbara Bush, wrote in Jeb’s identify. The youthful George Bush has not mentioned publicly who he voted for in November, however few who know him suppose he voted for Mr. Trump.
At Mr. Trump’s swearing-in ceremony in January 2017, Mr. Bush was so struck by the brand new president’s darkish Inaugural Address that he told Mrs. Clinton, “That was some weird [expletive].” He has since remained principally silent, however his occasional public feedback have been interpreted as rebukes of Mr. Trump’s method to management.
Mr. Bush not solely attended Mr. Biden’s inaugural ceremony on Wednesday but in addition traveled afterward to Arlington National Cemetery with the brand new president together with former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to put a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns. He additionally taped a section with Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama confirmed on tv Wednesday evening sending finest needs to Mr. Biden.
“Mr. President, I’m pulling for your success,” Mr. Bush mentioned within the video. “Your success is our country’s success. God bless you.”