To a certain upper crust of Republican, “Perry is the low-rent country cousin” who lacks Bush’s prep-school polish, said R.G. Ratcliffe, a longtime student of Texas politics who is writing a book about Perry. “They see him as a hick and are embarrassed having someone like that as governor.”

Privately, the former president has spoken of his successor as a political lightweight and someone not all that bright. Perry scoffs behind closed doors at Bush’s privileged background and popularity among country-club Republicans, suggesting the New England native is a faux Texan…

Bush had been elected governor in 1994, and was already eyeing a run for president. Facing a weak opponent, he wanted to win reelection overwhelmingly and lift his numbers among blacks and Latinos to show crossover appeal. Perry faced the state’s popular Democratic controller, John Sharp, and had a much tougher time. The Bush and Perry teams squabbled over polling, voter targeting and the hard-edged tone of Perry’s campaign…

The governor has little use for the philosophy Bush dubbed “compassionate conservatism.” At a recent foray to the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, he told a cheering crowd that conservatives should “stand up” and “stop apologizing” for their beliefs.