CLEVELAND (CNN) — Former President George W. Bush fretted to a group of former aides and advisers in April that he was worried he could be the “last Republican president.”
The 43rd president’s remark, at a gathering in Dallas of his administration’s staffers, reflected a dim view of the party’s prospects at a time when the primary contest was realistically down to Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
“I’m worried that I will be the last Republican president,” Bush told a clutch of former aides and advisers.
The comment was reported by Politico. Bush’s office declined to comment to CNN.
Bush — as well as his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and his brother, 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush — are skipping this year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. So are the party’s last two presidential nominees, 2012’s Mitt Romney and 2008’s Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Bob Dole, the 1996 GOP nominee and the only living Republican presidential choice who is attending the convention, has criticized Republicans who are skipping it.