George W. Bush described today’s Republican Party as ‘isolationist and nativist’ and said it was not his vision of the what the GOP should be in his first live TV interview in three years.
The former president spoke to NBC’s ‘Today Show’ as part of his tour promoting his new book, ‘Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants.’
In the interview he expressed his disappointment with the direction his political party has taken and the migrant crisis can be fixed with ‘border enforcement with a compassionate touch’.
He tore into the Republican and said he hopes moderate can succeed in the party primary in 2024, just hours after Donald Trump made his strongest indication that he would run again.
Bush also said he was concerned President Biden’s decision to pull US troops from Afghanistan will leave women and girls at risk of violence from the ‘brutal’ Taliban.
‘I would describe it as isolationist, protectionist and to a certain extent nativist,’ Bush said when asked to describe the GOP.
‘It is not my vision but I am just an old guy they put out to pasture. Just a simple painter,’ he added.
George W. Bush described today’s Republican Party as ‘isolationist and nativist’ and said it was not his vision of the what the GOP should be in an interview with NBC’s ‘Today Show’
George W. Bush and Laura Bush attended an immigration ceremony aired live on ‘Today’
‘I think if the emphasis is integrity and decency and trying to work to get problems solved, I think the person has a shot, he said of his hoped 2024 candidate.
He also said the January 6th MAGA riot at the Capitol, which left five dead and a trail of destruction throughout the building, made him ‘sick.’
‘It kind of made me sick. It did make me sick. I felt ill. I just could not believe it. The truth the matter is, I was optimistic that we would survive that because I believe strongIy in the institution of our country. It did survive,’ he said.
But he said he remains troubled about the amount of false information out there.
‘What’s troubling is how much misinformation there is and the capacity of the people to spread all kinds of untruths,’ he said. ‘I don’t know what we are going to do about that? I know what I am doing about it. I don’t do Twitter or Facebook or any of those stuff.’
Bush did not mention former President Donald Trump by name. Trump riled up the January 6th crowd with his false claims he won the election and had it stolen from him. He faced a second impeachment trial for his actions but was acquitted in the Senate.
George W. Bush was on NBC’s ‘Today Show’ as part of his book tour for his new tome, ‘Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants’
Bush said he was trying to be a ‘different voice’ on immigration at a time many in the GOP were echoing Donald Trump’s isolationist policy
Bush also expressed concern about disinformation on the internet
Bush declined to discuss any of his successors in the Oval Office, joking if he did: ‘Michelle Obama may not be my friend.’
He enjoys a friendship with the former first lady that has transcended politics.
In the wide-ranging interview, Bush also expressed concerns that the Taliban would take advantage of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan to erase gains made by women in that country.
‘My first reaction was wow, these girls are going to have real trouble with the Taliban. A lot of gains have been made so deeply concerned of the women and girls in that country,’ he said.
‘I think the administration hopes that the girls are going to be okay through diplomacy, we’ll find out,’ Bush added. ‘All I know when they had the run of the place, the Taliban, they were brutal.’
Bush spoke on stage with his daughter Jenna Bush Hager after he swore in 20 new American citizens in a naturalization ceremony
The pair shared a laugh on stage and embraced during the wide-ranging interview
The former president was also joined by his wife Laura as they welcomed the new citizens
While first lady, Laura Bush made women’s rights in Afghanistan one of her signature issues and she visited that country. George W. Bush began the war in Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11th attacks on the US.
President Joe Biden announced last week that he would withdrawal all US troops from that country in September, by the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack. He called Bush before his speech to inform him of his decision.
George W. Bush is on a book tour for his new tome ‘Out of Many, One’
As part of his interview and book publicity tour, Bush and Laura Bush attended a naturalization ceremony that was aired live on the ‘Today Show.’
He said he included portraits of immigrants in his book because ‘I had a kinship with veterans and great empathy with immigrants. We were all raised mainly, a woman came up from Mexico with nothing.’
He also said he’s trying to have a ‘different voice’ on the immigration issue at a time many Republicans in public office echo Trump’s call for an isolationist strategy.
‘It is a beautiful country that we have and it is not beautiful when we condemn and call people names and scare people about immigration. It is an easy issue to frighten some of the electorate and I am trying to have a different kind of voice,’ Bush said.
The former president said the January 6th riot at the Capitol made him ‘sick’