George H.W. Bush on his son's leadership following Hurricane Katrina



President George H.W. Bush's 1999 book, All the Best, George Bush; My Life in Letters and Other Writings, is being reissued this month in an updated version, and CNN was provided an advance copy. In the book, Bush 41 discusses his feelings after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, when his son, President George W. Bush, was being criticized for the federal government's response to the unfolding disaster in New Orleans:

"I am really down about the way the President has been attacked," Bush writes in a 2005 letter to journalist and long-time friend Hugh Sidey about the criticism directed at his son for the government's response to Hurricane Katrina. "Over and over again the networks attack him. First for being late in moving. Then for over flying Louisiana on the way back to Washington. Then on the snail like pace of relief."

Bush went on to say "My heart went out to him. Here is a guy who cares deeply. Who wants every possible resource of the Federal Government brought in to bear to help people, yet he is being roundly accused of not giving a damn...the critics do not know what is in 43's heart, how deeply he feels about the hurt, the anguish, the losses affecting so many people, most of them poor."

The senior Bush goes on to compare the criticism of his son with his own experiences being shot down by Japanese forces during his time in the U.S. Navy, and concludes, ""Now I see some of his most nasty critics trying to shoot down my beloved son — shoot him down by mean-spirited attacks. I was a scared kid back then. Now I am just an angry old man hurting for my son."

In other Bush family news, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum (known as Bush Center) will be unveiled next month at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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