Former Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said in an interview airing Monday he wishes every day for a man he called a "loser" and the "worst president we've ever had" to be back in office: George W. Bush.
Reid, who led the Senate Democrats from 2005 until 2017, also called Bush a "liar" and "King George" in addition to other insults while in office, but he claimed to CNN's Dana Bash he'd take him any day over President Donald Trump, who he's called a "spoiled brat," "con man," and "human leech."
"In hindsight, I wish every day for a George Bush again," Reid said, as Bash looked shocked and amused. "He and I had our differences, but no one ever questioned his patriotism. Our battles were strictly political battles."
Bash said it was a surprising remark to hear, given Reid's past rhetoric about the 43rd president. Reid, a baseball fan, replied that Bush would be "Babe Ruth" compared to Trump with them in the same league. He said he couldn't think of anything Trump was doing right in office, since he had "trouble accepting him as a person."
Reid at one time privately told people he felt "hate" toward Bush, in a political way, New York Times reported in 2007. "I fear that the Bush years will be known as a rare, even dark time," he said on the Senate floor at the time.
"In hindsight, I wish every day for a George Bush again," former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tells @DanaBashCNN, despite his criticism of Bush during his presidency. "He and I had our difference but no one ever questioned his patriotism." https://t.co/inD9ayyDWP pic.twitter.com/IxgaljIX17
— CNN (@CNN) February 25, 2019
Reid also said, amid the Iraq War troop surge in 2007, that the war was "lost," leading to a sharp rebuke from the Bush White House and then-Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.).
Reid also savaged 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, lying on the Senate floor when he claimed Romney hadn't paid taxes in 10 years. He later told Bash in defense of his demonstrably false comments, "Romney didn't win, did he?"
Reid, 79, is recovering from treatment for pancreatic cancer, which is in remission. He retired from the Senate in 2017 and was replaced as minority leader by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.).