Pres. Bush Calls Out NYT ‘Psychobabble’ Review of His Book On Father

President George W. Bush sat down with CNN’s Candy Crowley for an interview that aired on Sunday’s State of the Union to promote his recent book profiling his father entitled 41: A Portrait of My Father

During the discussion, Crowley asked Bush about a recent New York Times review that suggested the book was the younger Bush’s attempt at ridding himself of any “baggage” that existed between him and his father. For his part, the younger Bush dismissed the Times for pushing “typical psychobabble of somebody who has no clue what he's talking about.” 

From the New York Times review:

He does not reflect on his lifetime of efforts to prove himself by following in his father’s footsteps, nor does he dwell on any frustrations in trying to measure up....With the former president fading into winter, the younger Bush’s book feels like a release of sorts, finally getting rid of whatever baggage has been there for so long. A son sits at the hospital bed, at last coming to terms.

As the interview progressed, Crowley asked  “aren’t all sons in stiff competition with their father or with each other or with each other?” For his part, President Bush resoundingly dismissed the notion that he and his father are in competition: 

Not really. I mean, stiff competition is overstated. In other words, if you love somebody as much as I love my dad, and my brothers love my dad, and my sister loves him, there’s no need to compete. And so, I mean, people are going to write what they want to write. I, on the other hand, I’m happy to get it out because first I’m glad dad’s alive when it comes out. And secondly I’m glad a lot of his friends are alive and can, you know, take it in and say wow this is the guy I know.

See relevant transcript below. 

CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley

December 7, 2014

CANDY CROWLEY: I want to read you the New York Times review part of -- part of the New York Times review about your book, which was favorable and said it’s readable and that it was a love story to your dad, et cetera. And then “He” -- meaning you, “He does not reflect on his lifetime of efforts to prove himself by following in his father’s footsteps, nor does he dwell on any frustrations in trying to measure up. With the former president fading into winter, the younger Bush’s book feels like a release of sorts, finally getting rid of whatever baggage has been there for so long. A son sits at the hospital bed, at last coming to terms.” It went on to say that this was -- now your argument is not with your dad, but with history. What do you think about that?

GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes, I think it’s typical psychobabble of somebody who has no clue what he's talking about. And one reason I wrote the book is that, you know, as I understand it, a lot of people are saying, well, you know, he’s in stiff competition with his father.

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: But aren’t all sons in stiff competition with their father or with each other or with each other?

BUSH: Not really. I mean, stiff competition is overstated. In other words, if you love somebody as much as I love my dad, and my brothers love my dad, and my sister loves him, there’s no need to compete. And so, I mean, people are going to write what they want to write. I, on the other hand, I’m happy to get it out because first I’m glad dad’s alive when it comes out. And secondly I’m glad a lot of his friends are alive and can, you know, take it in and say wow this is the guy I know

CNN Other CNN George W. Bush Candy Crowley George H. W. Bush

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