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George W. Bush: Don't Need President Who Mirrors, Inflames Our Frustration

George W. Bush: Don't Need President Who Mirrors, Inflames Our Frustration
George W. Bush campaigns for his brother Jeb Bush in South Carolina (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 February 2016 07:53 PM

Donald Trump's name was never mentioned from the stage, but it was clear the GOP front-runner was target of multiple barbs as former President George W. Bush joined the campaign for his brother Jeb Bush Monday in North Charleston, South Carolina.

"These are tough times, and I understand that Americans are angry and frustrated," George W. Bush told the cheering crowd of supporters. "But we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our anger and frustration; we need someone who can fix the problems that cause their anger and frustration — and that's Jeb Bush."

Americans are yearning for a strong leader, he said, adding that, "Strength is not empty rhetoric. It is not bluster. It is not theatrics. Real strength, strength of purpose, comes from integrity and character. And in my experience, the strongest person usually isn't the loudest one in the room."

Calling his brother a man of "humble, deep and genuine faith" that is manifested through good works and not loud words, the former president said his brother proved himself a leader in eight years as Florida governor and will surround himself with trusted advisers "who do know what he doesn't know."

George Bush took the stage to defend his brother against attacks by Trump in Saturday's GOP debate, which he said was "kind of weird" in certain parts.

"I never thought in a Republican debate we would be talking about impeaching a Republican two-term president who was extraordinarily popular for good reason amongst Republicans," Jeb Bush said of attacks from Trump on his brother, who still has high poll numbers in South Carolina.

The event was the first time the former president has appeared at any campaign event since leaving office in January 2009, and he joins his brother at a time that his well-funded campaign is in desperate need of a boost. Jeb Bush is running fifth in the now six-candidate race in the Palmetto State, home of Saturday's primary.

"We're living in difficult times, and this election is really important," Jeb Bush said. "I look back during my brother's time. He didn't know 9/11 was going to happen, but he rolled up his sleeves and inspired us and kept us safe, and I'm proud that he did it."

That was another reference to Trump's criticism of George W. Bush, whom Trump says was warned of an attack before 9/11, but ignored it. 

George W. Bush returned the compliment, saying his brother will be "a strong and steady hand when confronted with the unexpected. … He did this as governor of Florida, and he'll do this as president of the United States."

As for attacks from the right that the Bushes are part of the party establishment and, therefore, part of the problem, George W. Bush was unapologetic: "If serving as president of the United States makes me a part of the so-called establishment, I proudly carry that label," he said.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who endorsed Jeb Bush after ending his own presidential bid in December, introduced George W. Bush, saying, "Bush values are South Carolina values," a reference to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's slam on Trump for having "New York Values."

"The military is going to be stuck with the choice of the American voter," Graham said. "Please think about those who are doing this fighting when you vote. We're a nation at war. And we're going to elect a president who will be a wartime president."

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Donald Trump's name was never mentioned from the stage, but it was clear the GOP front-runner was target of multiple barbs as former President George W. Bush joined the campaign for his brother Jeb Bush Monday in North Charleston, South Carolina. These are tough times, and...
george w.bush, campaigns, jeb, tight, south carolina, race
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2016-53-15
Monday, 15 February 2016 07:53 PM
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