McCartney's Put-Down of Bush Draws Jeers from Republicans

Paul McCartney knows you can't buy him love, but some are suggesting he should try to buy himself a little class after he took a cheap shot at former President George W. Bush following a performance at the White House this week.

The 67-year-old former Beatle attacked Bush's intelligence after receiving the Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress on Wednesday.

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"It's a fantastic honor (for) the Gershwin family to give me this incredible award and for me to be awarded it by the Library of Congress. And in fact, after the last eight years, it's great to have a president who knows what a library is," McCartney said, drawing cheers from the audience.

But former Bush administration officials gave Sir Paul a thumbs-down, saying the headline on the story should be "Fool on the Hill Visits the White House," and that the ex-Beatle should get back to where he once belonged.

"It was completely ungracious and undignified," said Fox News contributor Dana Perino, who was Bush's final White House press secretary.

"And it showed how shallow people can be, and it was sad to me someone of Paul McCartney's stature can in one moment erase years of goodwill that he built up with so many people in America," she said.

But Perino added that maybe she wasn't amazed.

"To be honest, given all of the nasty and ridiculous things that many in the world of entertainment have said about President Bush over the years, I'm not surprised," she said.

Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for Bush, called the comment "crass" and "rude."

"One, it shows no class. Two, it's ignorant," Thiessen told, noting that Bush's wife, Laura, is a librarian.

"They made literacy an issue during his presidency and he is probably, as Karl Rove has pointed out, one of the best read presidents in recent history," he said.

Thiessen likened the comments to him making fun of the plastic surgery McCartney has had and how silly he looked accepting the award. "But I would never do that," he said. He did, however, call McCartney a "sad left winger" who is among those who still have not gotten over their "Bush Derangement Syndrome."

Thiessen said that while he considers himself more of a Rolling Stones guy than a Beatles fan, he has learned to "separate the music from the people."

The Gershwin prize is named for the songwriting brothers George and Ira Gershwin. Previous recipients have been Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.