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'Bigotry seems emboldened' in US under Trump: George W. Bush

Former US President George W. Bush speaks at a forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute in New York, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP/Seth Wenig)

Former US President George W. Bush has launched a coded attack on the presidency of fellow Republican Donald Trump, saying “bigotry seems emboldened” in the United States in recent months.

Speaking at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City on Thursday, Bush condemned bigotry, conspiracy theories and lies in American politics while endorsed policies that run counter to those supported by Trump. He also warned that Americans need to reject “white supremacy.”

"Our identity as a nation, unlike other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. ... This means that people from every race, religion, ethnicity can be full and equally American," Bush said.

"It means that bigotry and white supremacy, in any form, is blasphemy against the American creed,” he added.  

In an apparent rebuke of Trump’s politics, the 43rd president of the United States said that "our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”

And, he went on to say that "bigotry seems emboldened.”

"We've seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty," Bush said, adding, "Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions, forgetting the image of God we should see in each other."

Bush harshly criticized the “governing class,” but again did not mention Trump by name or Congress or any other politicians in office.

The remarks represent a rare entry into the public debate by Bush, whose family was blasted by Trump during the last Republican primary where he defeated former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for the GOP nomination.

Trump had been credited to ruin the candidacy of onetime party favorite Jeb Bush.

Trump had repeatedly attacked Jeb Bush throughout his campaign for the Republican nomination, calling him "weak," "low-energy" and "an embarrassment" to the Bush family.

He also targeted George W. Bush over Iraq war and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  

In a heated exchange between Jeb and Trump during the ninth Republican presidential debate on February 13, 2016, the New York billionaire blamed George W. Bush for the collapse of the World Trade Center and the death of 3,000 Americans.

“The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign, remember that,” Trump said.

American scholar and political analyst  Dr. Kevin Barrett has said that Trump ruined Jeb’s candidacy by repeatedly challenging him “on 9/11 by saying that 9/11 was the fault of George W. Bush, which is true in more ways than one.”

The entire Bush family, including Jeb and his father and brother, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, skipped the Republican National Convention in July last year in Cleveland, where Trump was officially nominated.

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