Fox Business News Host Lou Dobbs called former Republican President George W. Bush a liberal on his show, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Thursday.
In a segment on free trade, the conservative host, who has interviewed President Donald Trump on numerous occasions, called President Barack Obama a “radical left-winger,” and said that Republican President George W. Bush was “a radical… What would you call him? A liberal himself. He wasn’t a conservative.”
Bush considered himself a “compassionate conservative,” and often had single-digit approval ratings from Democrats during his presidency.
Dobbs’s guest, Wall Street Journal editorial page assistant editor James Freeman avoided agreeing with Dobbs, but did concede that Bush “grew government in a big way.”
Later in the program, Dobbs returned to his point about Bush’s political leanings. He called both Bush and Obama “disasters” and joked with Freeman that he had “blinked when I said that Bush was a liberal, not a conservative!”
President Trump has criticized and poked fun at the Bush political dynasty on multiple occasions during his campaign and, later, his presidency.
In a March speech, the president called George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 “the single worst decision ever made.” The president then criticized his predecessor’s intelligence. “Here we are, like the dummies of the world, because we had bad politicians running our country for a long time, that was Bush. Another real genius. That was Bush.”
At a July rally in Montana, the president criticized George H.W. Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light,” a program that promotes volunteerism throughout the country. “Thousand points of light. What does that mean? I know one thing. Make America Great Again we understand. Putting America first we understand,” he said. “Thousand points of light, I never quite got that one. What the hell is that?”
George H.W. Bush has said that he voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election, while George W. Bush voted neither of the two major-party candidates. H.W. Bush has criticized the president for being a “blowhard,” and W. Bush has said that Trump “doesn’t know how to be president.”
The back-and-forth has created a division between Republicans who support the classic conservative values that the Bushes claim to have governed by and those who support Trump.
Far-right conspiracy sites like Infowars consider the Bushes to be part of the “deep state” and a number of former Bush staffers, including former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer have slammed Trump for his rhetoric.
Dobbs, however, has long criticized Bush. He called for his impeachment multiple times while he was in office, and accused him of fulfilling his father’s “agenda of a new world order.”