DALLAS (CBS11) – During the bruising Republican primary, Donald Trump repeatedly attacked former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, son of President George H.W. Bush.
Now, a report that the former president would choose Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Trump is turning some heads, but not all.
“It’s not surprising that a father might not vote for the person who beat his son the primary,” said former Chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party Wade Emmert.
Politico magazine first reported former Maryland Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Robert Kennedy’s daughter, posting a picture on Facebook of her and the former President, saying “The President told me he’s voting for Hillary.”
In response, the former President’s spokesman, Jim McGrath tweeted, “Those reporting how George H.W. Bush will vote this year, it’s not clear anyone was there to verify KKT. Still checking, keep your powder dry.”
Emmert said even if it’s true that Bush would vote for Clinton, he doesn’t expect it will hurt Trump.
“That might actually help Trump to the extent President Bush and the Bush family are a part of the political establishment like the Clinton family, and they haven’t decided on Donald Trump, maybe that convinces people Trump is something other than the typical party candidate,” said Emmert.
Shawn Stevens of Dallas says his fellow Democrats are pleasantly surprised.
“Somewhat, but not entirely because there’ve been so many people with a national security background on the Democratic and Republican side that have indicated they just don’t trust Donald Trump with our nation’s national security,” said Stevens.
SMU Political Science professor Cal Jillson said both former Presidents Bush, lifelong Republicans, don’t like Trump, and have a lot to weigh.
“There’s a lot of pressure out there by people saying are you putting party above nation? If you think he’s not a credible President, you really need to say something. Party is important, but not that important, and they’re thinking about that,” said Jillson.
A spokesman for former President George W. Bush, who now lives in Dallas, told CBS11 that Mr. Bush is not commenting on the presidential election, and is focused on keeping the U.S. Senate in Republican hands.
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)Follow Jack on Twitter: @cbs11jack