The Bush family has a strained relationship with the Republican Party’s presidential candidate on the best of days. Now, it appears that President George H.W. Bush will vote for his party’s opponent on election day.
In Facebook a post on the personal profile of Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, a member of the Kennedy family, Townsend, posted a photo of herself and the former Republican president alongside the caption, “The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”
The post has yet to be verified because Townsend’s Facebook profile is private. However, Politico claimed to have an exclusive on the story, and the media outlet called Townsend for a telephone interview. Townsend, who is John F. Kennedy’s niece, told Politico that she met Bush in Maine on Monday and that he informed her of his intention to vote for the Democratic nominee.
The Guardian also reported on the post regarding George Bush’s voting intentions. When asked for comment, Jim McGrath, a Bush family spokesman, told the paper, “The vote President Bush will cast as a private citizen in some 50 days will be just that: a private vote cast in 50 days. He is not commenting on the presidential race in the interim.”
Former President George W. Bush has also declined to comment on the 2016 race. However, both Bush 41 and 43 made a few appearances on behalf of Jeb Bush during his race for the nomination.
George Bush and family have stayed out of the spotlight after Jeb Bush’s departure from the race in February. The former Florida governor suspended his campaign after months of fighting against the public perception that said he was the establishment candidate. He also dealt with the Bush family history, and the opposition speculated that he would continue the Bush family agenda.
George Bush’s son Jeb Bush also fielded consistent attacks from front-runner turned nominee Donald Trump. Trump mocked him relentlessly at events, debates, and on his Twitter page.
Most of the family of George Bush has refused to back Trump as the official Republican candidate. The two former Bush presidents also declined to attend the RNC in Cleveland over the summer. This was a major snub to the party as the only two living Republican presidents refused to participate in one of the party’s biggest events.
Jeb has continued to criticize Trump in public. He condemned Trump’s comments regarding the Khan family. While he refuses to endorse Trump, he also is not voting for Clinton.
While Jeb’s father and brother have stayed mum, his mother has made her feelings about Trump clear. Barbara Bush told CBS News, “I don’t know how many women can vote for someone who said what he said about Megyn Kelly, it’s terrible. And we know what he meant too.”
If the report is true, the first President Bush joins a growing list of Republicans and GOP leaders who have defected from voting along party lines. Sally Bradshaw, a top adviser to Jeb Bush during this campaign, left the party. She is now registered as an independent. However, she told CNN that she would vote for Hillary Clinton if the race in Florida got too close.
In August, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) became the first sitting member of Congress to announce he would vote for Clinton. Meg Whitman, a Republican fundraiser, also noted that she would be using her assets to support Clinton. Maria Comella, a former aide of Republican governor Chris Christie, also announced her support for the Democratic nominee.
Several Republican groups have also been started to help the Clinton campaign. Craig Snyder, previously part of the Trump campaign, created the Republicans for Her 2016 super PAC.
It is unclear whether support from George Bush will hurt or help Hillary, but the polls are once again tipping back in her favor after a difficult few weeks.
[Featured Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]