This week, reports surfaced indicating that former President George H.W. Bush, aka Bush 41, would be voting for Hillary Clinton this presidential election instead of his party’s candidate, former reality star Donald J. Trump. The news, unsurprising though it is given the way Trump insulted and belittled his son Jeb during the primary battle, caused ripples within the Republican Party establishment. So on Friday’s edition of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the titular host addressed the news during a sit-down interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. Even though Dowd has been obsessively fixated on Hillary Clinton for two decades, firing off dozens upon dozens of hit pieces, the former Secretary of State has never uttered a negative word about her publicly. But this week, with one critical column, Dowd attracted the ire of the world’s most famous Twitter troll: Donald Trump.
“Boy, you and Hillary, huh?” joked Maher, neglecting to explore the animosity further. “I know you’ve been friends with [Trump] for years, and this is what he tweeted about you recently…”:
“I wasn’t friends with [Trump]—I just interviewed him,” Dowd replied. “I would interview him whenever he would go out on early expeditions as a presidential candidate, but I was deeply troubled by his tweets because obviously he didn’t put a lot of time into them because he was just recycling things he had done about other women journalists. So he always calls them ‘crazy,’ or ‘neurotic,’ or ‘wacky,’ and I would have preferred a better nickname—like at least [George W. Bush] gave me ‘cobra’ which has some reptilian glamour.”
Maher then addressed how “the fact that [Trump] tweets at three in the morning is such a psychotic thing” to do right before you go to bed, to which Dowd added, “I asked him if he did it in his jammies, and he said, ‘Yes.’ He gets in his pj’s and tweets his [stuff].”
Then the pair tackled the Bush 41 endorsement news. Dowd first made a name for herself covering George H.W. Bush’s tenure as POTUS back when she was a beat reporter for The New York Times, and the two eventually developed what Bush would call a “love-hate relationship.” So, when Maher brought up how Bush would be backing Hillary over Trump in the upcoming general election, Dowd shared an eye-opening story about exactly how much the elder Bush despises Trump.
“I went down to have lunch with [Bush] in 2011 and it was right at the height of the birther thing and I was talking to him about that,” offered Dowd. “Donald Trump was leading the birther moment, and former President Bush goes, ‘He’s an ass.’ And he was talking about how much he really loved Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and so I can only imagine how painful it was to see Jeb, who he had always wanted to be president, get destroyed in the debate stage by what Trump refers to as a ‘one-day kill,’ which is the ‘low-energy’ thing.’ And so Bush Sr. would throw his shoe at the TV set when Trump would come on. When he saw Trump, he would just throw it.”
This, of course, prompted Maher to joke about the 2008 incident where Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi hurled both of his shoes at then-POTUS George W. Bush.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Bush remarked at the time. “If you want the facts, it’s a size 10 shoe that he threw.”