Ever since George W. Bush left the White House, he has kept a relatively low profile. Sure, he chimes in once in awhile, but mostly allows his successors to work without butting in.
After Jeb Bush dropped out of the election, George W. Bush went back into the shadows. Most saw his failure to endorse Donald Trump as a slight, but refraining from offering his thoughts was nothing new for the former president. However, one month into President Trump’s term, Bush finally broke his silence.
From the Washington Times:
For eight long years, George W. Bush refused to criticize Barack Obama.
“I don’t think it’s good for the country to have a former president undermine a current president,” Mr. Bush explained to Fox News’s Sean Hannity in 2014, on why he refused to critique his successor’s policies. “I think it’s bad for the presidency, for that matter.”
Yet one month into President Donald Trump’s presidency, Mr. Bush decided it was OK to offer a critique of the former real estate mogul.
Mr. Bush, speaking with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” Monday, insisted “we all need answers” regarding possible connections between Russian officials and Mr. Trump’s campaign team. He (thankfully) dodged the question on whether a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the matter.
Sadly, it appears Bush has bought into the media hype that President Trump has some sort of nefarious connection to Russia. Despite the fact that investigators have already weighed in, Mr. Bush believes we “need answers.” Of course, it’s hard to imagine there is anything else to investigate, which is why Congress has consistently declined to explore the matter.
President Trump’s alleged connection with Russia wasn’t the only issue Bush addressed. He also weighed in on Trump’s travel ban:
“I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and upholds the law,” Mr. Bush said.
The left immediately used his remarks to vilify Mr. Trump and his supporters.
“When Liberals are citing George W. Bush as a voice of moderation and sanity, you understand how extreme the right has become under Trump,” Huffington Post contributor Wajahat Ali tweeted.
“You know it’s bad when George W. Bush is calling for an inquiry into a rigged election,” liberal commentator @shewhovotes wrote.
Despite the fact that Bush didn’t specifically address the executive order, liberals jumped on the remarks. But President Trump’s immigration policies actually uphold the law, which had been going largely unenforced under the Obama administration. Still, you can be welcoming while at the same time protecting national security.
Of course, not everything Mr. Bush said was negative:
“I think you have to take the man [Trump] for his word that he wants to unify the country, and we’ll see whether he’s able to do so. It’s hard to unify the country with the news media being so split up. When I was president, you know, you mattered a lot more because there was like three of you and now there’s all kinds of information being bombarded out and people can say things anonymously. It’s just a different world.”
Unfortunately, Bush’s remarks will only help to undermine President Trump’s ability to unify the country. In a time of deep division, President Bush broke his silence to join in the divisive atmosphere. Perhaps he should stick to promoting his new book.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]