Donald Trump+Jeb Bush

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Jeb Bush at the first G.O.P. presidential debate. (Credit Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

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Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd
SundayReview | Op-Ed Columnist
August 29, 2015

Washington — PITY Poppy.

When I went down to Houston a few years ago to eat pizza with the former president, he was his usual gracious self, speaking fondly about President Obama and his new pal Bill Clinton.

But there was one person who got dismissed with a brusque obscenity: Donald Trump.

It was at the height of Trump’s birther madness and Bush was disgusted by it.

So I can only imagine 41’s dismay and disbelief — and acid flashbacks to spoiler Ross Perot — now that Trump has popped up to block the path of the son who Poppy desperately wants to see as 45, restoring the family name after 43’s spiral.

The New York wheeler-dealer, who held a fund-raiser at his Trump Tower apartment for gubernatorial candidate Jeb at Poppy’s request back in 1997, has had a devastating and disorienting effect on Jeb’s presidential candidacy.

The Trumpster has suckered Jeb! into scraps that have ended up backfiring on Jeb and elevating Trump. And he has trumpeted a lethargic, insubstantial image of Jeb that is at odds with the perky red “Jeb!” campaign logo.

In a Washington Post story last week about the fractious relationship, Trump ridiculed Jeb’s investment banking work at Lehman Brothers and later Barclays. Trump suggested that the millions Jeb was paid were a reward for steering Florida state funds to Lehman. “Why would you pay a man $1.3 million a year for a no-show job at Lehman Brothers — which, when it failed, almost took the world with it?” Trump asked.

In a bank shot, Trump dragged in the Democratic front-runner, noting, “That’s a Hillary Clinton kind of situation.”

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