- Thomson Reuters
A prominent member of the Kennedy family says former Republican President George H.W. Bush told her he planned to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president this fall.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor, posted a picture of herself with Bush on Facebook on Monday and added, “The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!” Townsend later confirmed the conversation she had while meeting Bush in Maine to Politico, which shared an image of the Facebook post.
Bush’s spokesman, Jim McGrath, said in a statement that the 92-year-old former president’s vote was private and that Bush wasn’t commenting on the race. McGrath later said on Twitter that he was “still checking” whether anyone was there to verify Townsend’s conversation.
Bush hasn’t offered support for GOP nominee Donald Trump, who defeated Bush’s son Jeb this year in a testy Republican primary.
Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, was one of Trump’s most frequent targets during the Republican primary cycle, with the Manhattan billionaire labeling him “low-energy.” Jeb Bush, along with Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, has not thrown his support behind Trump since the contentious primary. Another one of the former president’s sons, George W. Bush, has also refused to back Trump. None of the family members attended the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer.
Before becoming the 41st president, George H.W. Bush served as a Texas congressman, the chairman of the Republican National Committee during Richard Nixon’s second term, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Gerald Ford, and vice president in Ronald Reagan’s administration.
He would be the highest-ranking Republican to acknowledge support for Clinton. It’s an unprecedented move for an ex-president to support the nominee of the opposing party.