“How do you like me now?”
That was the question Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush posed to thunderous applause at Samantha Bee’s Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner taping Saturday afternoon.
“The prodigal son returns,” he added, before admitting that he didn’t know what that phrase meant but was pretty sure it was something positive.
The point was, compared to President Donald Trump, George W. Bush is looking a lot better these days. Ferrell reveled in the newfound admiration, noting that no one thought history would judge the 43rd president as well as it has just eight years after he left office. With Trump now “considered the worst president of all time,” his Bush was happy to “come in second.”
Ferrell’s Bush also went after the media for sneaking up on him with “gotcha questions” like, “Why are you going to war?” and “Why did you not respond to Hurricane Katrina?” He added, “I just wish someone had told me all I had to do was say ‘fake news’ over and over and over again.”
“Look, I never liked the press, but I took my lumps, like every other president,” he continued. “The new guy has thin skin. He’s what they call a snowflake.” Trump “can’t handle the heat,” he said, “He’s a weak man.”
The former president went on to wonder aloud why anyone would get into journalism these days, comparing the profession to playing the violin on the Titanic while the ship is sinking. To reporters at The New York Times and The Washington Post, he warned, “The iceberg is coming.” He advised them to do what Fox & Friends is doing instead. “Those guys are dressing up like women and children and stealing the lifeboats.”
Finally, the painter behind the new book Portraits of Courage presented the first painting from his new book, “Portraits in Not Courage.” It was a half-finished picture of Donald Trump, because, as Bush explained, he had “exhausted his palette of yellows and oranges.”
“In summation, Donald, the presidency is different,” he concluded. “I look back at my eight years in office and my time away from the presidency, I’ve accumulated a broad depth of knowledge.” He boiled his advice for Trump down to just three words: “Eat. A. Salad.”