Donald Trump failed Sunday to get into the spirit of former president George W. Bush’s call for national unity during the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, Trump lashed out, criticizing Bush for failing to back him during his impeachment fight in December.
A video message from Bush released Saturday (see it above) appealed to Americans’ better natures, encouraging citizens to help one another and put aside their differences during these extraordinary times.
“We rise or fall together,” Bush said. “In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God.”
In response, Trump quoted “Fox & Friends” co-host Pete Hegseth, who had criticized Bush for not backing Trump when he was impeached on charges of obstruction of Congress and abused of power late last year. Trump also did some editorializing, calling his impeachment the “greatest hoax in American history!”
Bush has never commented publicly on Trump’s impeachment and trial, and he and other members of his family have criticized policies backed by the president.
Bush’s message didn’t mention Trump by name, but it seemed to have been tailor-made for the president, and protestors backed by him who have demanded that safety measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 be lifted. Trump has called on his supporters to “liberate” Democratic states — and threatened not to help financially struggling blue states unless they “give us a lot.”
Trump and Bush have never been friends. “I’m a Republican but not a fan of the last George Bush — he also was a lousy President (Iraq etc.),” Trump tweeted back in 2013. “In fact, he was so bad he gave us Obama!”
Several responses to Trump on Twitter noted the president’s obsession with his own grudges as America’s COVID-19 death toll continues to climb.