‘I don’t know much about foreign affairs’: George W. Bush made startling confession to Britain’s US ambassador, National Archive documents reveal
George W Bush admitted he knew little about international affairs at his first meeting with Britain’s ambassador to the US, the papers show.
But when Sir Christopher Meyer met the then Texas governor in 1998 as he considered a run for the White House, he was candid about his lack of international experience despite his own father having been president from 1989 to 1993.
George W Bush (above) admitted he knew little about international affairs at his first meeting with Britain’s ambassador to the US, the papers show
‘Bush admitted that, apart from Mexico, he did not know much about international affairs and that he would do well to broaden his experience,’ Sir Christopher wrote.
‘His world view – as he is well aware – is largely limited to the Texan and Mexican horizons.’
The ambassador urged him to visit the UK, but Mr Bush said that he could not afford to be seen undertaking high-profile foreign travel ahead of gubernatorial elections that autumn.
‘The Texas electorate would not forgive him if he appeared to be taking his eye off the business of governing Texas,’ Sir Christopher reported.
Mr Bush’s later presidency was dominated by US military action in Iraq and Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks of 2001 (pictured)
He said that if Mr Bush did decide to seek the Republican Party nomination, he was regarded in the political salons in Washington as ‘by far the front runner’.
‘This meeting confirmed my first snap opinion of George W: Very personable and with a good self-deprecating sense of humour,’ he noted.
Mr Bush served two terms as president between 2001 and 2009.