Speed Reads

throw him under the bus why don't you

Jeb Bush defends Cheney, Rumsfeld against his dad's slams

Jeb Bush has said he loves his dad so much he'd "kill for him" and "go to prison for him," but apparently he draws the line at backing up the 41st president's comments about "iron-ass" Dick Cheney and "arrogant" Donald Rumsfeld.

In the new book Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, biographer Jon Meacham quotes the elder Bush as saying both former Vice President Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld were too hawkish after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Bush not only called Cheney "iron-ass" and Rumsfeld "arrogant," but also said he believed it was a "big mistake" to let Cheney "bring in kind of his own State Department," and found Rumsfeld to suffer from a "lack of humility, a lack of seeing what the other guy thinks."

On Thursday, Jeb Bush told NBC News his 91-year-old father was attempting to re-write portions of George W. Bush's presidency. "My brother is a big boy, his administration was shaped by his thinking, his reaction to the attack on Sept. 11," he said. "I think my dad, like a lot of people that love George [W. Bush], want to create a different narrative, perhaps, just because that's natural to do. But George would say, 'This was under my watch, I was commander in chief, I was the leader. And I accept personal responsibility for what happened, both the good and the bad.'" Cheney, Jeb added, "served my brother well as vice president, and he served my dad extraordinarily well as secretary of defense. We have to get beyond, I think, this feeling that somehow 1991 is the same as 2001."

While Cheney told Fox News he enjoyed the book, out Nov. 10, and takes the "iron-ass" remark as a "mark of pride," Rumsfeld, who is 83 himself, told NBC News: "Bush 41 is getting up in years and misjudges Bush 43, who I found made his own decisions."