Referring to the tone of national discourse he said, “I don’t like it. The cables (TV) have a lot to do with it.”

In the radio interview, Mr. Bush said the volume of criticism aimed at him when he was president was not as “day in and day out.”

The Republican elder statesman said, “It’s not just the right.” He complained, “there are plenty of people on the left.”

While he said he does not believe in personal name-calling, he singled out MSNBC personalities Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow calling them “sick puppies.”

“The way they treat my son and anyone who’s opposed to their point of view is just horrible,” Mr. Bush said.

“When our son was president they just hammered him mercilessly and I think obscenely a lot of the time and now it’s moved to a new president,” he added.