President Plays Down Father's Concerns Over Upcoming Elections

Monday, October 23, 2006

President Bush gently admonished his father for saying he hates to think what life will be like for his son if the Democrats win control of Congress in the Nov. 7 election.

"He shouldn't be speculating like this, because -- he should have called me ahead of time and I'd tell him they're not going to [win]," a smiling Bush said during an interview broadcast yesterday on the ABC program "This Week."

It follows the recent release of a book, "State of Denial," by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, which says the 82-year-old former president, George H.W. Bush, was "anguished" over how the Iraq war has played out, although he has dismissed that account.

Earlier this month, the elder Bush was reported to have told the audience at a Republican fundraiser in a Philadelphia suburb that "if we have some of these wild Democrats in charge of these [congressional] committees, it will be a ghastly thing for our country."

He was also quoted as saying, "I would hate to think . . . what my son's life would be like" if their Republican Party lost its majorities.

The two men have rarely appeared together in public in recent years. But they praised each other at the Oct. 7 christening of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier being to be named the USS George H.W. Bush, after the 41st president.

Though the elder Bush has said his job is to stay on the sidelines, that did not stop him from raising a warning about the prospects for a Democratic takeover of Congress.

Asked whether he had thought about the possibility, the president told ABC: "Not really. . . . I'm a person that believes we'll continue to control the House and the Senate."

Polls show Democrats running ahead. They must pick up 15 House seats and six Senate seats to take over Congress.

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