Wayne Madsen Reports was told by a longtime national security aide to then-President Ronald Reagan that First Lady Nancy Reagan told White House staff that “I never want to see the Bushes again.”
The comment came after Bush family friend John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Reagan on March 30, 1981, some seven weeks after the presidential inauguration. Mrs. Reagan apparently was convinced that Vice President George H W Bush and Second Lady Barbara Bush were somehow connected to the assassination attempt.
Hinckley, who was found not guilty due to reasons of insanity, was confined to St. Elizabeth’s mental hospital in Washington, DC.
WMR also learned that the Reagans wanted no part of a 1980 Republican ticket with either George H W Bush or former President Gerald Ford.
Ford was rejected because the Reagans discovered that Ford planned to govern the country as a “co-president” with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger returning as Secretary of State, Ford’s former chief of staff Dick Cheney as Defense Secretary, and Alan Greenspan as Treasury Secretary. Neither was Bush wanted for the ticket because of his attacks on Reagan during the primaries, including the charge that Reagan’s economic policies were “voodoo economics.”
Reagan despised people like Bush and other East Coast Republicans who were in the political orbit of Ford’s vice president and former New York governor Nelson Rockefeller. Although Rockefeller died in 1979, his influence in the GOP was still felt through Republicans like Bush, Ford, and Kissinger. Reagan felt the East Coast “establishment” Republicans took their orders from the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Reagan personally favored for the vice presidential slot the same man he would have chosen in 1976 had he been nominated: Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker. Although Schweiker was a moderate-to-liberal Republican, Reagan not only liked him but felt he would bring reasonable valance to the ticket.
For the Bushes, however, Schweiker would have been a nightmare. Schweiker, a member of Democratic Senator Frank Church’s Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, concluded that the Warren Commission’s investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was so lacking, a re-investigation of the assassination in Dallas in 1963 was warranted. In 1976, Schweiker told CBS’s Face the Nation that he believed the CIA and FBI lied to the Warren Commission and that the cover-up of Kennedy’s murder extended into the Lyndon Johnson White House.
For Bush and the CIA, Schweiker, using the vice presidency as a platform for dredging up Dallas in the early 1980s represented a distinct threat. Bush, Cheney, and Ford, the latter a member of the Warren Commission, pressured the Republican National Committee to reject Schweiker.
Reagan could only appoint Schweiker to the relatively low-level position of Secretary of Health and Human Services, a post he held until 1983. Schweiker had a frosty relationship with Vice President Bush during this period and actually maintained closer ties to House Speaker Tip O’Neill, a Massachusetts Democrat and longtime Kennedy family friend.
Nancy Reagan’s hostility to the Bushes carried over to her funeral. All the living First Ladies were present at Mrs. Reagan’s funeral with one glaring exception: Barbara Bush.
Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who consistently exposes cover-ups from deep within the government. Want to be the first to learn the latest scandal? Go to WayneMadsenReport.com subscribe today!