Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, the last two Republican commanders in chief before Trump, just put out a strong joint statement on the violence that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend, condemning “hatred in all its forms.”
“America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all its forms,” the statement reads. “We are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights,” they continued, referencing the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson, who was famously a resident in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The timing of the statement is interesting. After all, just yesterday President Donald Trump answered questions about the violence in Charlottesville during an infrastructure press conference where he defended the alt-right and equated neo-Nazis to leftist activist groups.
“What about the fact that [the alt-left] came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs? Do they have any problem?” Trump said. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent.”
Instead of blaming both sides — like Trump has — the Bushes specifically call out racism and anti-Jewish sentiment. Those feelings were a feature among those rallying to keep Robert E. Lee’s statue up in Charlottesville rather than those countering their protest.
The Bushes and Trump might be from the same party, but they clearly view what happened in Charlottesville in very different — and moral — ways. Even other prominent GOPers, like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Sen. Marco Rubio, put out their own statements calling out white supremacists.
You can read the full, short statement below from the Bushes below:
America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all its forms. As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable right. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.