President Trump had kind words for George HW Bush on Saturday after the former president's death, both in a formal statement and a more personal tweet. But as USA Today reports, Trump has a history of friction with the Bush family, with the elder Bush himself referring to Trump as a "blowhard" in the book The Last Republicans last year. In fact, things have been so dicey that the New York Times wonders whether Trump will attend the funeral, let alone speak at it, as is traditional. John McCain, for example, excluded Trump from his funeral, but the wishes of Bush were not immediately known. The newspaper notes that Trump once mocked Bush's signature "thousand points of light" push on the campaign trail, saying that "nobody has really figured out" what that means.
But that animosity was not evident in Trump's public statements Saturday. "Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family," Trump wrote. "His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!" The formal statement, meanwhile, praised Bush as a man of "sound judgement, common sense, and unflappable leadership" and said he "set the stage for the decades of prosperity that have followed." Notably, the statement also lauded the "thousand points of light" sentiment, saying it illuminated "the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world." (See photos of Bush throughout the years.)