Former President George H.W. Bush: Olbermann, Maddow 'A Couple of Sick Puppies'

Perhaps the 41st president still has it in him - at least when it comes to the left crying foul about the so-called uncivil political discourse on right, but being equally if not worse on the left - particularly on MSNBC, the "Place for Politics."

In an interview on Oct. 16 with CBS Radio, former President George H.W. Bush took a very critical tact with MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, deeming them "a couple of sick puppies." (via MSNBC's Oct. 16 "The Rachel Maddow Show")

"I don't like it," Bush said. "I think the cables have a lot to do with it. I'll take you back to when I was president - we got tons of criticism, but didn't seem day in and day out quite as personal as some of these talk show people."

He admitted they were on both ideological sides of the spectrum.

"And it's not just the right," Bush continued. "There are plenty of people on the left. If you want me to name a couple of names, I'll be glad to do that for you."

The CBS Radio reporter asked him and Bush did as he had offered.

"Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow - I mean here are a couple of sick puppies."

Maddow expressed her disbelief, despite dishing out her own share of hyperbole to her guests, calling Americans For Prosperity President Tim Phillips a "parasite" and "bad for the country" just the night before. And the former president nailed it - that people opposed to their point of view are treated horribly.

"And the way they treat my son and treat anybody that's opposed to their point of view is just horrible," Bush continued.

Maddow offered a few moments of her show to her MSNBC colleague, Olbermann, who spoke by phone to respond to the comments by President George H.W. Bush.

"I think that I can speak on your behalf here and say that we're very grateful for the former president's concern about our health," Olbermann said. "It's easy to miss the irony here. What he's complaining about in terms of personalized complaint about other politicians - the current era of it, name-calling - he's the father of it."

Olbermann was out sick for the evening, but took a few moments to attack Bush and the president of the Fox News Channel, Roger Ailes, who also played a role in Bush's 1992 presidential campaign.

"And I don't mean he's the father of George W. Bush, I mean he's the father of the process that took us to the place we are now. He is the man who employed Roger Ailes. He and Roger Ailes are the men who ran the Willie Horton ad against Mike Dukakis. He and Roger Ailes are the people who played the scam on Dan Rather, so it's very ironic to hear George H.W. Bush from this lofty perch, and with real, I thought I heard anger in his voice against you and me, and mispronouncing your name, which adds to his credibility.

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