Unlike Obama, former President George W. Bush has been mostly silent since he left office. While he was seen on the campaign trail with his brother Jeb, Bush has otherwise made a habit out of keeping a low profile over the years.
However, with the political climate as heated as ever, many were wondering when the former president would jump into the fray.
Despite tenuous times, Bush has still mostly kept his thoughts to himself in the era of Trump. However, signs are starting to emerge that this may be about to change. A few months into Trump’s time in office, Bush chimed in on foreign policy, warning against reverting to “isolationism.”
Now, the former president is making his thoughts on the current situation with Russia known.
From NBC News:
Former President George W. Bush on Thursday chastised Russia for alleged cyberattacks during the 2016 election, charging it was an effort to turn “Americans against each other” and “exploit our country’s divisions.”
Bush urged America to “harden its own defenses” in the face of “external attacks on our democracy.”
In remarks at a forum in New York held by the organization that runs his presidential library, Bush said the Russian cyberattacks amounted to a “sustained attempt by a hostile power to feed and exploit our country’s divisions.”
“The Russian government has made a project of turning Americans against each other,” the former president said. “Our country must show resolve and resilience in the face of external attacks on our democracy and that begins with confronting a new era of cyber-threats.”
While most of the media has obsessed over how Russia attempted to help Trump, Bush’s thoughts on the matter are much more accurate. Far from a conspiracy specifically to help Trump, Russia’s true aim was to cause division and doubt in America’s political institutions. Aided by the media, Russia has, sadly, been at least somewhat successful in that aim.
Perhaps more surprisingly, Bush didn’t stop there. In comments on race relations, many observers speculate the former president’s comments were directed at President Trump:
“People of every race, religion, ethnicity,” he said, are “equally American. Bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.”
“We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty,” added Bush. “At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together.”
However, a spokesman for Bush denies the comments were directed towards the current president:
Bush did not mention President Donald Trump and a Bush spokesman told NBC News that the former president was not criticizing Trump. “These are the same themes President Bush has spoken on for the last two decades,” said the spokesman, Freddy Ford.
Regardless of the intent, it appears that the once-quiet Bush may start to make his thoughts more frequently known. As a prominent voice in the GOP, Bush’s renewed presence is sure to shake things up.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]