So how does he see the president? "Ever notice how impatient Bush is at press conferences with questions, like, 'What right do you have to ask me a question?' " Stone says, noting the comical names the president makes up for reporters, friends and colleagues. "I would say he's a bully. It's classic bully syndrome. The nicknames, for instance, are bullying."
When Stone met Bush
Bush and Stone never met during their time at Yale, but they did encounter each other face-to-face in 1998 at a Republican breakfast in Los Angeles when Bush was governor of Texas.
"I was the token liberal who was invited. It was hilarious. Not hilarious, it was scary," Stone corrects himself. "He was talking about tough love and justice in Texas because he was known as a guy who executed all these people.
"He brought me up (to his hotel room) afterward. I didn't know he'd been to Yale with me, so he told me that. He knew more about me than I knew about him! He was definitely a charismatic guy. I knew he'd be president because there was no question that guy had absolute confidence."
He says Bush introduced himself by laying an arm around his shoulder and shaking his hand tightly, grinning with a twinkle in his eye and asking, "How are ya?"
Did he give Stone a nickname?
The director thinks for a moment, then flashes his gap-toothed smile.
"Not yet," he says.