New: George W. Bush Delivers Impassioned Defense of American Values

President George W. Bush delivered a stunning speech in New York on Thursday at “The Spirit of Liberty” forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute. In the eloquent, 15 minute address, Bush warned against threats to democracy and American values.

Many observers believe that the speech contained veiled references to Donald Trump, even though a Bush never mentioned President Trump by name. In the speech, Bush warned against both external threats such as terrorism and nuclear proliferation as well as internal threats from lack of faith in government and institutions, bigotry, conspiracy theories and “outright fabrication.”

“We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty,” Bush said in a widely quoted passage. “Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone and provides permission for cruelty and bigotry. The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.”

Bush listed several recommendations for the future. First, he called for defenses against external threats, including Russian cyberattacks intended “to turn Americans against each other.” Second, Bush called for America to remain a global leader in freedom and free markets.

President Bush delivered an impassioned argument against bigotry as part of his third point, a focus on strengthening democratic citizenship. In a line that received sustained applause, Bush said, “It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.”

Bush called “a deficit of confidence” the worst American problem, but ended the speech with a stirring tribute to the American spirit.

“The American spirit does not say, ‘We shall manage,’ or ‘We shall make the best of it,’” Bush said. “It says, ‘We shall overcome.’ And that is exactly what we will do, with the help of God and one another.”

Watch the full speech here:

Read the full text of the speech here:


BREAKING: Trump Talks Terror In Saudi Arabia



President Trump has just completed a major speech on Islam and terrorism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the speech, the president attempted to draw a line between peaceful Muslims and terrorists, calling the war against terror, “a battle between good and evil,” according to CNN.

Trump stressed that the fight against terrorists was not a religious war, saying, “This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations,” Trump said. “This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between good and evil.”

The president was conciliatory to his Muslim audience, calling Islam “one of the world’s great faiths.”

“There is still much work to be done. That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds. We must stop what they’re doing to inspire — because they do nothing to inspire but kill,” Trump said. “In sheer numbers the deadliest toll has been exacted on Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations, ” he added. “More than 95% of the victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.”

President Trump called upon Islamic nations to drive radicals out of their countries. “Drive them out,” he said. “Drive them out of your places of worship … drive them out of your holy land. Drive them out of this earth.”

Read the full transcript of Trump’s speech here.

Trump Remains Unusually Quiet in the Aftermath of His Triumphant Speech

After a speech that people of all political stripes have hailed as a triumph, President Donald Trump, who is never one to pass up a chance to brag or speak out, has taken an unusual tack – he has remained quiet.

On Wednesday, as pundits, anchors, and regular people across the country were parsing and analyzing Trump’s speech, the president simply tweeted:

At the time of this writing, he has only tweeted once since, and he has maintained a relatively low profile as the positive reviews of his speech have come in.

The president, according to several people who spoke to him, was quite pleased after weeks of displeasure over his news coverage and unexpected frustrations as he settles into the White House. A president who obsesses over his news clippings, he liked the television coverage and didn’t grow angry at the post-speech articles — a rare occurrence since he moved to Washington. He called friends and associates to ask what they’d heard, while recounting praise others had given him about the speech.

Staff told Trump people were saying good things. And the famously fidgety president, never shy about touting public measures of his success, opted not to tweet about positive overnight reviews from pollsters, focus groups and the mainstream media he so often maligns. He still wanted to talk about his performance, but was content to enjoy the praise privately.

Insiders within the administration appear to be happy – or relieved – to bask in a positive news cycle. One staffer said, “It seemed like they were taking a breath. They seemed like they were doing OK. They were smiling.” There are even talks of delays to some executive orders in light of the president’s performance on Tuesday night.

“They made a conscious decision to do absolutely nothing today to step on the positive coverage the speech is generating,” said a Republican who visited the White House on Wednesday. “They feel like they need a bump more than the country needs the new executive order, and in reality, that’s probably true.”

The administration is hoping the good buzz and relaxed atmosphere will hang on through the end of the week. And who knows? It could be the start of a whole new era for the Trump White House, although, knowing the press like we do, we shouldn’t hold our breaths.

Media Freak Out: Seven in 10 Optimistic After Trump Speech

The immediate opinions of President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress last night were glowing. In contrast to the angry ranting of Mr. Trump’s campaign stump speeches, his address last night was uplifting and optimistic. The president even took the opportunity to extend an olive branch to Democrats with an offer of bipartisan compromise.

There was little criticism of the style and tone of President Trump’s address. Talk show host Erick Erickson, a longtime critic of Trump, said in The Resurgent, “Last night, the President showed he really has found his footing. He showed he really can be up to the task of being everyone’s President. He showed he is invested in the job.”

Erickson said that the speech was not conservative, that “there was big government for everyone,” but that the policy proposals would not be remembered. “What does advance is how people left the speech feeling,” Erickson said. “And Americans had every reason to feel reassured that things will be okay in the Age of Trump.”

Polling by CNN supports Erickson’s assessment. The poll of speech-watchers found that a majority, 57 percent, had a positive reaction to the speech. Sixty-nine percent felt that Trump’s policies would move the country in the right direction after the speech. This is a 11-point increase from before the speech. By that measure alone, the speech must be considered a success.

In comparison, during much of Barack Obama’s presidency Rasmussen’s right track/wrong track poll showed that two-thirds to three-quarters of Americans felt the country was on the wrong track. The week of the election, only 32 percent believed the country was on the right track. The most recent Rasmussen polling, from Feb. 19-23, show that the right-track number is now up to 45 percent.

Sixty-three percent said that President Trump has had the right priorities. The needle ticked up here as well since 57 percent agreed with that statement before the speech.

Trump also got a small boost in confidence from those who watched the speech. Before the speech, 59 percent were very or somewhat confident in Trump’s ability to carry out his duties as president. After the speech, that number increased to 64 percent.

In his speech last night, President Trump proved that he can act presidential and assume the ceremonial duties of president. He inspired much of the country with optimism after eight years of national malaise.

The question is how long the new, presidential Trump will last.

Trump Speech To Congress Was Mixed Bag For Conservatives

President Trump’s speech to the joint session of Congress last night (text here) was a triumph for the president. Without a doubt, Mr. Trump delivered one of the most effective speeches of his political career.

Stylistically, the president was smooth and practiced. The speech was in sharp contrast to his disjointed stump speeches and press conferences. Mr. Trump proved that he can deliver a polished, rehearsed speech with minimal ad libbing. In a word, Mr. Trump seemed presidential.

To a conservative, the content of the speech was a mixed bag. Much of what I heard involved new federal spending by a government that is broke. While I applaud Mr. Trump’s desire to expand the defense budget and believe that rebuilding the military is long overdue, I would have liked to hear that the new spending would be balanced by spending cuts elsewhere. Instead, I heard that there would be more spending domestically.

“America has spent approximately six trillion dollars in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling,” Trump said in a statement that sounded like it could have come from Barack Obama. “With this six trillion dollars we could have rebuilt our country — twice.”

Trump continued, sounding even more like Obama circa 2009, “To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States — financed through both public and private capital — creating millions of new jobs.”

America has already tried a near-trillion-dollar stimulus. It failed to stimulate the economy or the job market. It didn’t work. We woke up afterward with eight years of economic stagnation and a national debt that had almost doubled.

“I believe strongly in free trade but it also has to be FAIR TRADE,” Donald Trump said.

I distrust politicians who talk about fairness. Fairness is the opposite of freedom because it relies on government to determine what is fair. Fairness is subjective. What is fair is at the discretion of who defines fairness. When fairness is the goal, government grows because government is the ultimate arbiter of fairness… if you can hire enough lobbyists to advance your notion of fairness.

When Barack Obama said that he wanted people to pay their “fair share,” I held onto my wallet. When I hear Donald Trump talk about fair trade, I expect that, if he gets his way, I will be paying more when I go to the store.

President Trump’s speech did have plenty for conservatives to applaud. His support for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare was much needed. Hopefully, he will take the lead on unifying congressional Republicans around a single plan. Trump’s promise of tax reform is also much needed. His victory lap over the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court was well deserved. His support for law enforcement after Barack Obama’s equivocations was reassuring.

Also reassuring was President Trump’s expressed support for immigration reform. While Trump did stress violent crimes carried out by illegal immigrants and promised again to build his wall, he did open the door to the bipartisan compromise that will be necessary to resolve the problem of illegal immigration. The claim that Mexico would pay for the wall was conspicuously absent.

There was a shortage on specifics in general, but especially on how a broke government will pay for his many programs.

The most moving part of the night – and probably the longest of many ovations – was for President Trump’s salute to US Navy Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens, who recently died on a raid against al-Qaeda in Yemen. It is doubtful if there was a dry eye in the house as the president recognized Ryan’s widow, Carryn.

Reaction to the speech will largely depend on what camp the listener falls into. Trump supporters will justifiably claim that he hit a homerun. Trump opponents will point to flawed policies and very questionable claims and statistics.

As a conservative who voted for “none of the above,” I can at least think that Trump is, so far, better than Hillary would have been. Other than not withdrawing from the TPP, I cannot think of anything that Hillary would have said that would have been more palatable than Mr. Trump’s speech. A low bar, I know. President Trump, for all his flaws, has so far supported at least a partially conservative agenda and appointed some (not all) very good people to very important jobs.

Nevertheless, as the speech opened and closed, it’s easy to hear Trump saying, “Generations from now, we will look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and jobs for the jobless. This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

How did that work out?

Navy SEAL Widow Receives 2 Minute Standing Ovation at Trump Address

The widow of a Navy SEAL who was killed while serving in Yemen was honored by President Trump during his joint sessions address Tuesday night.

Caryn Owens is the widow of Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens and attended the speech as the guest of Mrs. Trump in a symbolic gesture of Trump’s desire to support deployed troops and crush radical Islamic terrorism.

In an emotional moment, Owens (on behalf of her husband) received a two minute standing ovation, during which she seemingly looked to heavens in acknowledgment of her husband.

Caryn Owens, the widow of U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens, received a full 2 minutes of applause, in honor of her husband.

The Most Terrific, Finest, Greatest Speech Which Will Win Trump The Presidency

”If Trump makes tonight the stake in the ground where he starts sticking to the message, and spends then next three months living tonight’s speech, Trump will win.”

I read the advance text of Donald Trump’s speech before he took the stage. Trump remained remarkably disciplined, rarely varying from the script. It’s by far the best performance of a teleprompter speech Trump has ever given. Even during a brief interruption by protesters, Trump kept his composure and his mouth shut.

With the exception of the ill-considered policies opposing free trade, if any other Republican candidate made this speech, it would be a knockout. It’s honestly the most terrific, finest, greatest speech I’ve read/heard in quite a while (and the crowd reacted very energetically)–and Trump was very well suited to give it.

If the speech could run for president, it would win hands down.

Except there’s no bifurcating Trump from his speeches (“I alone can fix it”). It’s a package deal: If we like what Trump says from the podium, we have to buy Cheeto Jesus along with it. We have to buy a man who is variously described by people who spent significant time with him as a sociopath. We have to buy a man who told more lies in campaign speeches than the fact checkers could keep up with.

We have to buy a man whose ideas of good and bad aren’t tethered to objective transcendent morality, but to the relative merits of “winning” and “losing.” We have to buy a man who would only uphold Article 5 of the NATO treaty–the 47 year mutual defense pact with Europe–if he decides they haven’t fulfilled their obligations to us.

But this race is so much different than practically any other race before. It’s the confluence of technology, social networking, mass media, celebrity, and an insatiable demagogue who knows how to build his own brand.

There is nothing about Trump I can cite as qualifying him for the power of the presidency, and hundreds of reasons that he should be disqualified. If only we could hire a national government general manager to do the job of president and make Trump the titular head of state. I pine for a parliamentary system so we can hand the real power to Paul Ryan for four years.

I know I’m writing as if Trump could win. All the polls show him losing, and losing big. But let me say this: Trump’s message resonates. I mean it really resonates. All the drama, all the build-up, all the poor staging, awkward mistakes, unpredictability, gaffes, malapropisms, plagiarism, and contention only heightens the impact of the message.

The Democrats, and frumpy old Hillary, are never going to be able to compete with Trump’s message, with any group of Americans. The only hope the Democrats have is that Trump remains Trump–scary as hell, beyond all reason. His unscripted (or hastily added at the last minute) reversal on his dangerous comments on NATO mark the start of this non-scary version of  “Presidential DT.”

If Trump remains The Donald, bat-guano crazy–a jerk who destroys other people, mocks the disabled, attacks wives and fathers of his rivals, and dementedly dances on the graves of the vanquished, there is absolutely no way he can win in November.

If Trump makes tonight the stake in the ground where he starts sticking to the message, and spends then next three months living tonight’s speech, Trump will win.

He will win because the message resonates with regular people who just want to live their lives and know someone is taking care of the big picture. He will win because the Democrats’ nanny state is unworkable, unsellable, and dangerous. He will win because people don’t want the government up all in their business every single day. Even social justice activists have to admit they’d rather have law and order than chaos–and Hillary will bring chaos.

I can’t support Trump, but I can definitely get behind his speech tonight. If the speech wins, and we get Trump along with it, at least it won’t be Hillary. God help America either way.