George W. Bush unleashes on Ted Cruz – Politico

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‘I just don’t like that guy,’ the former president tells donors.

Inside a sleek Denver condominium, George W. Bush let a hundred donors to his brother’s campaign in on a secret. Of all the rival Republican candidates, there is one who gets under the former president’s skin, whom he views as perhaps Jeb Bush’s most serious rival for the party’s nomination.

It isn’t Donald Trump, whose withering insults have sought to make Jeb pay a political price for his brother’s presidency. It isn’t Marco Rubio, Jeb’s former understudy who now poses a serious threat to his establishment support.

It’s George W. Bush’s former employee — Ted Cruz.

“I just don’t like the guy,” Bush said Sunday night, according to conversations with more than half a dozen donors who attended the event.

One donor in the room said the former president had been offering mostly anodyne accounts of how the Bush family network views the current campaign and charming off-the-cuff jokes, until he launched into Cruz.

“I was like, ‘Holy sh-t, did he just say that?’” the donor said. “I remember looking around and seeing that other people were also looking around surprised.”

“The tenor of what he said about the other candidates was really pretty pleasant,” another donor said. “Until he got to Cruz.”

Bush took a harsh view of Cruz’s apparent alliance with Trump, who stood with the senator at a Capitol Hill rally last month in opposition to the Iran deal. While Trump, the current GOP poll leader, has attacked most of his competitors in the 2016 field, he has avoided criticizing Cruz.

One donor, paraphrasing the former president’s comment in response to a broad question about how he viewed the primary race and the other Republican candidates, said: “He said he found it ‘opportunistic’ that Cruz was sucking up to Trump and just expecting all of his support to come to him in the end,” that donor added.

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