Parade Mag Spurs Bush 41 to Ask: 'Who The Hell Is Grover Norquist?'

The Sunday newspaper supplement Parade magazine is showing its liberal bias again...but this time, it's helping the Bush family whacks anti-tax conservatives again. Just as Jeb Bush slammed the Grover Norquist tax pledge last month, George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush unload for this Sunday's papers. George asks:  "Who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?" Barbara thinks he should "go back to Alaska."

Parade puffs Bush up by claiming he was "vindicated in many respects" for scrapping his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge -- although you certainly cannot claim it reduced the deficit as he promised during his one term:


PARADE: During your presidency you gave in on your “no new taxes” pledge. You’ve been vindicated in many respects for that decision. I wonder how you view the “no new tax” pledge from Grover Norquist that seems to be requisite for GOP political candidates.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH: The rigidity of those pledges is something I don’t like. The circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist. It’s—who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?

BARBARA BUSH: I think he ought to go back to Alaska. [laughs] Don’t quote me! [A reference to a comment Mrs. Bush made about Sarah Palin in a 2010 interview, in which she said, “I think she’s very happy in Alaska—and I hope she’ll stay there.”]

Mrs. Bush is clearly begging Parade to quote her. (Norquist hailed from Massachusetts.)

By contrast, Bush 41 offered very kinds words about other presidents, as he often does, both Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. But Barbara Bush went from spitting nails at Norquist to happy talk for Slick Willie, claiming bizarrely that Clinton never said a mean word? Did she sit out the 1990s?

BARBARA BUSH: But he never said a mean word about anyone. “[My] brother by another mother,” the boys call him. But he’s very nice—I think he thinks of George as the father he never had. Truthfully. I mean that as a compliment.He’s been very thoughtful about calling and he’s a good fellow.

UPDATE: A tipster notes ATR has a Facebook graphic underlining how Papa Bush seemed to think he could just raise taxes once. Who in this scenario is the naive pol?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis