Sessions knocks Bushes: 'They should remember the loyalty they were given'

A Kennedy says a Bush is voting for a Clinton
A Kennedy says a Bush is voting for a Clinton


    A Kennedy says a Bush is voting for a Clinton


A Kennedy says a Bush is voting for a Clinton 04:19

Story highlights

  • Jeff Sessions reacted to the news that former President George H.W. Bush will support Hillary Clinton
  • The Alabama senator expressed frustration with Republicans who continue to refuse to back Trump

(CNN)Sen. Jeff Sessions pilloried former President George H.W. Bush's decision to support Hillary Clinton for president over Donald Trump, saying the Bush family "should remember the loyalty they were given by millions of Americans."

Sessions expressed frustration with Republicans who've refused to back Trump in an interview with the Washington Examiner published Wednesday. A long-serving Republican senator, he was among the first members of the so-called GOP "establishment" to throw his support behind the eventual nominee during the primary, and has been a fixture of the Trump campaign since.
    "They should objectively analyze who is likely to advance best the agenda they favor and the agenda the Republicans who supported them favored. And that's clearly Donald Trump," Sessions said.
    The Alabama Republican also noted that "millions of Americans, including this one, worked their hearts out for the Bushes in 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2004. And it wasn't Bill Clinton that helped the Bushes get elected. It was the same voters, in large part, that elected Ronald Reagan and stand to elect Donald Trump."
    The elder Bush is the only member of the family whose support for Clinton has become public. Jeb Bush, whom Trump defeated during the primary, has said he won't support the nominee, and former President George W. Bush has declined to reveal his presidential preference.
    For Sessions, though, the choice is simple, and he expressed puzzlement about the Bush family.
    "I think they're not thinking clearly enough about this," Sessions told the Washington Examiner. "They're not ... appreciating half the American people, virtually, that have been supportive of Republicans. A lot of them preferred somebody other than Bush candidates, but they rallied around them when it came to November. So I would hope that we see more rallying."
    And to other Republicans, like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who have argued Trump isn't conservative enough to lead the party, Sessions says "that's ridiculous."
    "At this point in history, it's the William F. Buckley test -- who is the most conservative candidate that can win the presidency? Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? On taxes, on regulations, on judges, on law enforcement — all these are conservative positions. What is the problem here? I just feel on issue after issue he's been firmly in the conservative, classical Republican conservative view."