Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain sided with former President George H.W. Bush, who criticized former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a new biography.
Bush told biographer Jon Meacham in a new book that his son George W. Bush did not benefit from the assistance of Rumsfeld and former Vice President Dick Cheney.
“I agree with Bush 41 in that I called for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld because we were failing in Iraq at the time,” McCain told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC Thursday. “And Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman and I were there enough to see that we were on a downward spiral.” (RELATED: Jeb Bush: Voter Basically Told Me, ‘F**k You’)
“And I’ve got to hand it to George W. Bush,” he explained. “He fired him after the 2006 election debacle. So I praised George W. Bush for that, and he brought in David Petraeus, he brought in the surge, and we turned it all around. And unfortunately, then President Obama decided to pull everybody out and all those wasted lives were in vain.”
Rumsfeld responded by telling NBC News, “Bush 41 is getting up in years and misjudges Bush 43, who I found made his own decisions.”
Wow –> This Rumsfeld stmt to NBC on Bush 41: “Bush 41 is getting up in years and misjudges Bush 43, who I found made his own decisions"
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) November 5, 2015
“Well, that’s very regrettable to say something like that,” McCain said. “One thing about Bush 41 is, time passes, we appreciate him more and more, not only for as president of the United States but being such a wonderful, decent man. A 19-year-old that was shot down in World War II, just a lovely, lovely man. And to say that, of course, is frankly authenticates the comments that are made about Donald Rumsfeld.”
Bush’s full comments appear in “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey Of George Herbert Walker Bush.”