George Bush describes Republican party as ‘isolationist, protectionist and, to a certain extent, nativist’
Former US President, George W. Bush on Tuesday described the Republican Party, of which he is a member, as “isolationist, protectionist and, to a certain extent, nativist,” his strongest and most direct criticism yet against the party since leaving office in 2009.
The comment of Bush is sure to ring bells not only because he is a former Republican president but he has hardly made political comments since leaving the White House
Bush recently talked about the need for a gentler approach to immigration by the Republican party but has not spoken negatively about the party even during the chaotic Trump era.
Asked on Tuesday how he would describe the Republican Party as he sees it today, Bush told NBC’s Hoda Kotb on the “Today” show, “I would describe it as isolationist, protectionist and, to a certain extent, nativist.”
When asked if he was disappointed by the party, the former President said, “Well, it is not exactly my vision but I am just an old guy they put out to pasture. Just a simple painter.”
Asked if a Republican who speaks nicely about immigration, favours gun control and supports a strong government presence in education would have a chance for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, Bush replied, “I think so.”
“I think it depends upon the emphasis. I think if the emphasis is integrity and decency and trying to work to get problems solved I think the person has a shot, yeah,” he said.
He then objected to Kotb’s insinuation that such a candidate would be “pro-immigration.”
“I think pro-immigration isn’t the right way to put it,” Bush said.
“I think border enforcement with a compassionate touch. That’s how I would put it. That’s what immigration basically means, let’s open up the borders.”
“I do want to say to Congress, please put aside all of the harsh rhetoric about immigration, please put aside trying to score political points on either side. I hope I can help set a tone that is more respectful about the immigrant, which may lead to reform of the system,”
In the “Today” interview on Tuesday, Bush also expressed concern about Joe Biden’s announcement to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the war Bush initiated following September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks nearly 20 years ago.
“My first reaction was wow, these girls are gonna have real trouble with the Taliban,” Bush said.
“A lot of gains have been made, and so I’m deeply concerned about the plight of women and girls in that country.”
“I think we’ll see, time will tell,” when asked if withdrawing troops was the right decision.
“I think the administration hopes that the girls are going to be OK through diplomacy. We’ll find out. All I know is the Taliban, when they had the run of the place, they were brutal.”