Former President George W. Bush speaks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes program and the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative national summit, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. The summit focuses on creating employment opportunities for post-9/11 veterans and military families. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

In NBC Interview, Former President George W. Bush Reminds Us What It Was Like to Have an Adult in Charge

You can say what you will about former President George W. Bush, but he has always been the very epitome of class and grace.

He endured years of derision and disdain from Democrats, Hollywood, the media, and even some members of his own party, but if it bothered him (I’m sure it did), he steeled up his backbone and soldiered on.

What he did not do was take to social media to writhe, spit, whine, and complain, like a spoiled child, over every perceived slight.

It really does feel like Bush was the last time we had an adult in the White House.

The former president met with NBC’s Matt Lauer this morning to promote “Portraits of Courage,” a new book featuring paintings done by Bush, himself, in honor of America’s veterans.

While sitting with Lauer, naturally, the subject of current President Trump was broached, and President Bush was asked to opine on the job being done, so far.

Bush didn’t directly criticize Trump in an NBC interview on Monday, but he used his own time in office to contrast with what how the current president is using the presidency. When asked about Trump’s spats with the media, Bush said he never considered the press the “enemy of the American people” as Trump said last week.

“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” Bush said. “We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be vindictive and corrosive, and we need the media to call out people who abuse their power.”

He added, “It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves.”

This is a point I’ve made, over and over again.

The media is hideously left biased. There’s no getting around that.

However, what we don’t do is label the media “enemies of the American people,” because we have seen the chilling effects of pitting citizens against each other. We also know that a government unchecked can soon give way to tyranny.

Lauer went on to read one of Bush’s speeches, given days after the September 11, 2001 attacks, where he reached out to the Muslims to assure them that the U.S. was not at war with them.

President Bush would not use the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” because experts have said it confirms terrorists to be true Muslims.

I have my own views about how much of Islam promotes violence and compulsion against non-Islamic peoples, but I also understand the value of diplomacy in forging clear paths for dialogue.

Bush said freedom of religion, and not discriminating based on religion, are core American values.

“It’s very important for all of us to recognize one of our great strengths is for people to worship the way they want to, or to not worship at all,” he said.

And this is true, as well.

Bush was asked if he agreed with Trump’s immigration ban, and in true Bush fashion, he neither endorsed, nor condemned the policy, but remained neutral.

“I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and upholds the law,” he said.

Now, if we could get a few more adults in charge of following up on just that, maybe we could bring some peaceful resolution to what has been weeks of national chaos.

About the author

Susan Wright

View all posts