Joining the media ranks of Helen Thomas and Keith Olbermann, in his regular Friday column in USA Today Al Neuharth, the founder of the nationwide daily, proclaimed George W. Bush to be the worst ever President. Announcing a “mea culpa,” Neuharth recalled how “a year ago I criticized Hillary Clinton for saying 'this (Bush) administration will go down in history as one of the worst.'” At the time, he declared her “wrong,” explaining: “I rated these five Presidents, in this order, as the worst: Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant, [Herbert] Hoover and Richard Nixon. 'It's very unlikely Bush can crack that list,' I added. I was wrong. This is my mea culpa. Not only has Bush cracked that list, but he is planted firmly at the top.” Neuharth fretted that “Bush didn't learn the value or meaning of mea culpa (acknowledgment of an error) during his years at Yale,” but “Bush admitting his many mistakes on Iraq and ending that fiasco might make many of us forgive, even though we can never forget the terrible toll in lives and dollars.”
Back in May of 2004, Neuharth used his column to urge Bush to not run for re-election. From the May 18, 2004 MRC CyberAlert:
Blaming President Bush's "cowboy culture" for the "biggest military mess miscreated in the Oval Office and miscarried by the Pentagon in my 80-year lifetime," USA Today founder Al Neuharth urged a withdrawal from Iraq and that Bush "should take a cue from a fellow Texan, former President Lyndon Baines Johnson" who did not run for re-election as he "turned tail and rode off into the sunset of his Texas ranch."