George W. Bush says country is going through 'an unsettled period'
The former president said he expected the ship to right itself, though he indicated he may not live to see that day.
Former President George W. Bush on Friday lamented the chaotic political climate in the United States, though the 43rd president expressed optimism that the dust eventually would settle.
Bush sat for an interview with his former press secretary, Fox News anchor Dana Perino, in Crawford, Texas, where he was participating in a 100-kilometer bike race for veterans. Perino asked the president to ruminate on the legacy of his father, George H.W. Bush, who was president when the Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago this week.
Perino noted that Bush was a proponent of looking past times of polarization, prompting him to get reflective.
“I’m optimistic about the future because as you mentioned democracy is self-healing. This is an unsettled period in our country, but it isn't the first time we have had unsettled periods,” he told Perino with a laugh.
He said he expected the ship to right itself, though the 73-year-old indicated he may not live to see that day.
“I won't be around to see my grandkids thrive and prosper, but I am convinced the world they’ll be entering into will be unique and full of all kinds of possibilities,” he continued.
The former president was no doubt alluding, at least in part, to the current occupant of the White House, with whom his family has had a running feud. Bush has made no secret of his disdain for Trump’s brash rhetoric, especially after the vitriolic campaign Trump ran against his brother Jeb during the 2016 election cycle.
While he’s strayed from naming Trump specifically and mostly steered clear of politics during the Trump-era, Bush offered a scathing rebuke of Trumpism when his presidency was just months old.
In a 2017 speech, Bush bemoaned that American discourse had been “degraded by casual cruelty,” seen “nationalism distorted into nativism,” and witnessed “the return of isolationist sentiments” in recent years.
“In all these ways, we need to recall and recover our own identity,” Bush said then. “Americans have a great advantage: To renew our country, we only need to remember our values.”