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Papa Bush blames Cheney and Rumsfeld to help son win White House: US journalist

George W. Bush (right) with Dick Cheney

Former US President George H.W. Bush has launched an effort to rebrand the Bush name in order to get Jeb Bush elected as next leader of the United States, an American journalist and political commentator says.

Papa Bush has blamed his son's top administration officials, Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, for the foreign policy failures of the George W. Bush administration to clear the Bush name, Don DeBar told Press TV on Friday.

In a forthcoming biography, Bush had particularly harsh words for Cheney, who he says for the past 15 years has barely resembled the man who once served as the defense secretary during his presidency from 1989 to 1993.

“This entire media focus suddenly on Papa Bush, George H.W. Bush, is clearly some campaign by or on behalf of Jeb Bush’s campaign to rebrand the Bush name,” DeBar said.

He added that George H.W. Bush “was appointed by President Gerald Ford as the head of CIA, a position that he held for about a year but it was in the aftermath of the [Sen. Frank] Church hearings and expose of the CIA as doing horrible things around the world, and in the United States illegally.

“And he at that time actually accomplished the rebranding of the CIA at least among the media. And we learnt later that one of the ways this happened, both under Bush and his successors, was actually by paying journalists, putting them on the CIA’s payroll.

“Bush lasts a year in the job. Jimmy Carter takes office and he’s replaced, but he moves to a position as a director of the Council on Foreign Relations, which exerts a great deal of foreign policy influence in the United States.

“And then after being trounced by Ronald Reagan in the primaries in 1980 backroom machinations produced him as the vice presidential candidate.

“Now you have someone who sat on the top of the CIA suddenly being the vice president, behind a president who really has his main talent as reading off of the teleprompter. Ronald Reagan was one of the first what we now call spokesmodels in the political sphere, working for General Electric and others in the 1950 and 1960s before he became a governor of California.

“Most people now acknowledge the fact that George Bush was conducting foreign policy during the Reagan administration. He maintained serious influence within the CIA and hence he and the CIA maintained considerable influence over US foreign policy at the time.

“After Reagan’s two terms, Bush won election in 1988, one of the few times that he did; he had been only elected twice before to Congress, to the House of Representatives, not even to the Senate, and he was unseated.

“And then during his time, the main foreign policy objective of the United States, which was to take down the Soviet Union, was accomplished. Nevertheless, he was not reelected in 1992.

“The Bush brand has had some difficulties in the public space in the United States.

“In 2000, his son, George W. Bush, becomes president after what most people acknowledge was a stolen election, stolen in Florida and stolen in the US Supreme Court.

“In 2004, he was reelected only again through stealing the election in Ohio, as most people acknowledge, and also by a complete and abject surrender of the office, almost a quitclaim conveyance by John Kerry, who on the one hand refused to run against Bush on the issue that was most controversial at the time, the war in Iraq, and then by not defending the votes in Ohio and other places, despite the fact that he had promised to do so.

“So at the end of George W. Bush’s second term in 2008, the Bush brand had been so devalued both by foreign policy failures, by the abuses of the law here in the United States and of the Constitution, and not least of which the collapse of the economy in the United States, that the brand has been damaged severely.

“And as they took Jeb out for a test ride this year so far, they found that that damage persists.

“So they have two-pronged aim here that they have to accomplish, to actualize. One is to rebrand Bush, to distance the Bush name from the foreign policy failures, in particular of George W. Bush. That’s what this attempt to lay this blame on Cheney and Rumsfeld is, despite the fact that they originally came out from the Papa Bush administration, both as president and as vice president.

“And the other is however not to make it look like the Bushes can be unduly influenced by the likes of Cheney and Rumsfeld. That’s the reason that Jeb is stepping out and saying that ‘Oh my brother really ran the ship’.

“So as they attempt to reposition history, they have to face this contradictory pair of aims, and that’s what this entire public relations effort is about.”

Former US President George H.W. Bush
Republican US presidential candidate Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush, who was the early frontrunner for the Republican nomination, has plummeted to the low single digits in a new national poll.

The Quinnipiac University survey released on Wednesday found Bush taking only 4 percent support, down from 10 percent in September.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump and Ben Carson continued to lead the crowded Republican field, with the New York billionaire gaining 24 percent support, followed by the retired neurosurgeon at 23 percent.

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