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GWB ‘sick’ to his stomach over Jan. 6 riot, says Trump populist movement will ‘fritter over time’

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One of the peculiarities about former President George W. Bush centers on what he chooses to speak out on and what he decides to remain silent on.

Some argue that Bush’s silence throughout his presidency in the face of vile criticism from the left, to include the media, only emboldened them further, leading to a more toxic environment for the next Republican president, Donald Trump.

Either way, Bush did not hesitate to slam the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol and denounce the “populist” movement at the root of that day’s events during an interview with the Texas Tribune.

“I can’t remember what I was doing, but … I was sick to my stomach … to see our nation’s Capitol being stormed by hostile forces,” he told the Tribune. “And it really disturbed me to the point where I did put out a statement, and I’m still disturbed when I think about it.”

“It undermines rule of law and the ability to express yourself in peaceful ways in the public square,” Bush added. “This was an expression that was not peaceful.”

Bush did not reference Trump in a Jan. 6 statement that read: “I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement.”

The former president is kicking off a promotional tour to plug book, “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants,” a collection of stories and oil paintings that highlight the journey of America’s immigrants and the contributions they make.

Don’t anticipate the book to differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants — Bush is an advocate for immigration reform.

“There needs to be an overhaul, which means that we need to get politics out of the system and get sober-minded people focusing on a) what’s best for our economy and b) what’s best for our country,” he said, adding that it’s “a political pipe dream” to try to send so many people back to their original countries.

“Rather than ignore the situation, we’ve got to address it, and I do believe there should be a path to citizenship,” Bush said. “I think Congress is going to have to be mindful that those who are undocumented don’t get to jump ahead of the line of those who are documented and have played by the rules.”

As for the record 81.2 million votes that 78-year-old President Joe Biden saw, over 12 million more than the record number of votes for Barack Obama, the first black president, Bush attributed this to the “vibrancy of democracy.”

“It shows the vibrancy of democracy,” he said. “That’s a telltale sign that people want to get engaged in the system and that they were willing to go vote.”

“Look, politics has always been rough … And right now we’re at a period of time, though, when there’s a lot of anger in the system, which then causes people to worry about the future of our democracy,” Bush noted. “I think it’s going to eventually work its way out of the system.”

The “anger” being a result of a populist movement that accounts for much of Trump’s support.

“History and the United States has shown these populist movements begin to fritter over time, and so I’m optimistic about democracy,” Bush said.

He shrugged off concerns about voting improprieties.

“I think the election, all elections have some kind of improprieties,” Bush said. “I think … the results of this election, though, were confirmed when Joe Biden got inaugurated as president.”

Pressed on whether the election was stolen, Bush replied, “No.”

More and more, Bush has shown no hesitancy in exposing his political class leanings.

He recently appeared with former Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama in ads persuading people to get vaccinated.

Tom Tillison

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