WASHINGTON– The Bush family is mending fences with President-elect Donald Trump after the best-known family in GOP politics feuded with the party’s nominee through the 2016 contest.
Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush each phoned President-elect Donald Trump to congratulate the Republican nominee on defeating Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night.
Bush 41 made the first call, his spokesman Jim McGrath told CNN’s Jamie Gangel, and the two spoke for about five minutes. The elder Bush wished Trump “good luck on your new challenge.”
His son, Bush 43, also spoke to the president-elect.
“This morning I called President-elect Donald Trump and congratulated him on his election as president of the United States of America,” Bush said in a statement to Gangel. “Laura and I wish the president-elect, Melania, and the entire Trump family all our very best as they take on an awesome responsibility and begin an exciting new chapter in their lives. We pray for the success of our country and the success of our new president.”
The Bush family has had a rocky relationship with Trump.
George H.W. Bush had told friends he planned to vote for Clinton. His son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, competed against Trump in the GOP primary, had told CNN he believed in a secret ballot, declining to say who he voted for.
And former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, also declined to vote for Trump and left the top of their ballots empty, not voting for Trump or Clinton.
But on Wednesday morning he tweeted, tagging Trump: “Congratulations on your victory @realDonaldTrump. As our President, Columba and I will pray for you in the days and months to come.”
By Eric Bradner