At a speech this week in New York City, former President George W. Bush opened up a new fault line in the Republican Party civil war with what are being called ‘veiled attacks’ on President Trump.
It’s rare for former chief executives to criticize their predecessors and even more rare for Bush to comment on political matters at all.
But the tenor and rhetoric of his speech were unmistakable.
Bush warned of the trend of ‘nationalism distorted into nativism, [that we’ve] forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America’, which was an obvious reference to ‘building the wall’.
Though he never referred to Trump by name, there were at least a half dozen sharply worded barbs clearly intended as a rebuke of the current administration.
We’ll bet a pretty penny a certain current president may have something to say via Twitter soon.
This could get interesting.
Here’s more from Washington Examiner…
A fresh battle in the Republican civil war flared Thursday as former President George W. Bush took veiled shots at President Trump in a speech that warned against the rising tide of ethno-nationalism on the Right.
Bush sounded the alarm about “nationalism distorted into nativism,” chiding that American identity “is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood.” He cautioned against the siren song of isolationism. The 43rd president never mentioned Trump.
But in issuing a clarion call for the conservative ideals of Ronald Reagan Republicanism, Bush was unmistakably rebuking the “America First” sloganeering of a 45th president who has questioned the value of U.S. internationalism and been accused of winking at white-identity politics.
“Right now there are at least two Republican parties,” GOP strategist Doug Heye said. “We know there are two; there might be more.”
It was rare criticism of a successor from Bush and remarkable in that it was directed at a fellow Republican, the first one to hold the White House since he exited nearly nine years ago. Bush spoke in New York, Trump’s hometown.
Bush is the latest in wave of prominent establishment Republicans attempting to hold at bay the populism ascendant in the GOP under Trump, even though this president’s policies don’t always comport with his nationalist rhetoric.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivered similar remarks in Philadelphia just days earlier.