As Baker recounts in “Days of Fire,” Bush publicly said it was the only way to avert another Great Depression. But in private, he bemoaned the irony of a conservative free-market capitalist Republican sponsoring the biggest government intervention in the economy of his lifetime.
“Our people are going to hate us for this,” he told aides at one point.
Meeting in the Oval Office in September 2008, he implored Boehner, then the House Republican minority leader, to deliver the votes to pass the program. “We need to get there,” Bush said.
“I’m trying,” Boehner replied, “I don’t have the support.”
Deja vu all over again.