If the establishment is striking back, Laura Ingraham was ready.
In a monologue Tuesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” the popular conservative talk show host who was an early supporter of now-President Donald Trump during his insurgent primary campaign, lashed out at the Republican establishment and “the expert class.”
But she saved some of her hottest fire for the last Republican to hold the White House before Trump, and reports that former President George W. Bush is running down the administration in private conversations.
At issue was a report published to Twitter by the National Journal, depicting the 43rd president sporting his “trademark smirk” to quip that Trump’s current troubles in the White House “sorta makes me look pretty good, doesn’t it?”
Ingraham is no big fan of Bush in the first place, and just last month bashed the former president for public criticism of Trump that Bush never engaged in during the eight disastrous years the country suffered under the Obama presidency.
But the reported “pretty good” crack, combined with public opposition from Republican leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to Trump’s plan to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum, pushed her into fighting mode.
If Bush really is putting down Trump’s presidency, Ingraham is making him regret it.
Check out an excerpt of the monologue here.
Earlier in the monologue, Ingraham basically redrew the battle lines of the 2015-16 fight for the Republican nomination – a fight in which George W. Bush’s brother, Jeb, played a starring, if ill-fated, role.
“Trump won by defying the conventional wisdom of the establishment, and he has continued to do just that. Donald Trump in politics is an innovator, and he’s not afraid to break with the establishment’s orthodoxy to do what he thinks, in his best judgment, is the right thing for the American people,” she said.
Now, it’s no secret that there’s no love lost between Trump and the Bush family.
Trump’s serial humiliations of Jeb Bush until Bush bowed out of the GOP race still have to rankle. (Instead of nursing old wounds though, the family might be better off remembering why Jeb lost – and how he should have been content with the legacy of the successful Florida governor he was.)
But Bush’s backstage remarks – if he’s making them in the sneering way implied by the National Journal – are helping neither the conservative cause nor the country. And they sure don’t help the Bush reputation.
Had Jeb Bush won the nomination, Democrats and their allies in the news media and late-night comedy would have heaped endless scorn on him just as they did Trump, plus Hillary Clinton would have cruised to victory in November 2016.
Trump’s victory in the nomination fight saved the country from a second Clinton presidency, and that’s something every conservative should be grateful for.
We can only hope the left is as irrelevant as Ingraham seems to think, come the November midterms. Some recent polls and Tuesday’s primary turnout in Texas, as reported by CNN, aren’t pointing to a “blue wave.” But Democrats are undeniably energized against the Trump presidency.
Republicans – especially former Republican presidents – don’t need to be giving them any help.
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