WASHINGTON - Former President George W. Bush wrote in the name of his former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on his 2020 presidential ballot, he told PEOPLE magazine.
Bush revealed that he did not vote for either incumbent Republican President Donald Trump — his party’s candidate — or Democrat Joe Biden, who ultimately won the 2020 election, instead writing in Condoleezza Rice, who served in the role of secretary of state from 2005 to 2009.
"She knows it," said Bush, 74. "But she told me she would refuse to accept the office.
"While Bush has largely remained silent in his opinion of Trump, it underlines the president’s estrangement from the GOP.
In January, the 43rd president condemned the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
"I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement," Bush wrote.
Earlier this week, Bush called Republicans "isolationist," "protectionist" and "not exactly my vision" of the party on the TODAY show, a morning news program which his daughter Jenna Bush Hager hosts.
Bush's comments drew ire from some Republican leaders.
"If this is what the Republican Party thought leaders are going to be pushing, you're going to have a really rough '24," Donald Trump Jr. said in a Facebook video. "There's a reason we have Donald Trump and it wasn't because the establishment guys like George W. Bush were successful at what they were doing."
Bush clarified his TODAY show comments to PEOPLE, saying, "I painted with too broad a brush... because by saying what I said, it excluded a lot of Republicans who believe we can fix the problem."
This story was reported from Los Angeles.