A Look At Why The Carlyle
Group Wanted to Drop George W. Bush From Its Board A Decade
David Rubenstein, founder of the
secretive defense contractor Carlyle Group. Recalls how
useless Bush was as a board member of Carlyle’s firm
Caterair and his surprise that George W. is now president.
In a column posted yesterday on Salon.com, Joe Conason writes:
"Preferring to avoid public scrutiny for obvious reasons,
executives at the Carlyle Group usually say nothing about
their firm's connections with the Bush dynasty. But last April
23, Carlyle managing director David Rubenstein spoke quite
frankly about the comfy sinecure he provided to George W. Bush
more than a decade ago -- and how useless Bush turned out to
be. Whether he knew it or not, Rubenstein's remarks to the Los
Angeles County Employees Retirement Association were
Rubenstein said, "We put [Bush] on the board and [he]
spent three years. Came to all the meetings. Told a lot of
jokes. Not that many clean ones. And after a while I kind of
said to him, after about three years - you know, I'm not sure
this is really for you. Maybe you should do something else.
Because I don't think you're adding that much value to the
board. You don't know that much about the company.
Rubenstein continued: "He said, well I think I'm
getting out of this business anyway. And I don't really like
it that much. So I'm probably going to resign from the board.
And I said, thanks - didn't think I'd ever see him again. His
name is George W. Bush. He became President of the United
States. So you know if you said to me, name 25 million people
who would maybe be President of the United States, he wouldn't
have been in that category. So you never know. Anyway, I
haven't been invited to the White House for any things."
A copy of the tape was obtained by freelance reporter Suzan
Mazur who recently posted a partial transcript
on the Progressive Review
website. She also supplied Democracy Now! with a copy of the
Mazur notes that some within the Los Angeles County
Employees Retirement Association want to pull out of
investments with Carlyle which is the 11th largest defense
contractor. The group has deep ties to the Bush family and the
military industrial complex.
Let’s hear what Rubenstein had to say about Bush and the
company Caterair International on which Bush served on the
board of directors.
- David Rubenstein, founder and managing director
of the Carlyle Group. This is an excerpt from a talk he
gave to investors with the Los Angeles County Retirement
Association on April 23, 2003.
- Dan Briody, author of The Iron Triangle:
Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group
Copyright Democracy Now!