Drop Partisan Politics During 'Shared Threat,' Bush Asks

Former president releases video pleading for unity to defeat pandemic
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2020 9:21 AM CDT
Drop Partisan Politics During 'Shared Threat,' Bush Asks
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush listen as Sylvester, right, recites a performance piece at the Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas last June.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Former President George W. Bush saw the nation pull together in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Now, he's asking that Americans leave partisan politics behind and renew that spirit, which he said is still "alive and well in America." Bush made his plea in a video released online, Politico reports. The former president rarely issues statements on current issues. As he speaks, the video shows scenes of American life before the coronavirus hit, as well as medical workers and other people helping each other during the pandemic. "Let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat," 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. We rise or fall together."

Bush's video is part of "The Call to Unite," a livestreamed project that has included messages from celebrities and former President Bill Clinton. "We need each other, and we do better when we work together," Clinton said in a video, per the New York Times. Presidents often enlist their predecessors to help during a crisis, but President Trump has rejected that. Bush put Clinton, as well as former President George HW Bush, to work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, for instance. But when Trump was asked in March if he'd call former presidents for help or advice during the pandemic, he answered, "I don’t think I’m going to learn much." As the video released Saturday shows photos of him comforting people after 9/11, Bush says, "Let us remember, we have faced times of testing before." He also asks the nation to keep in mind that "empathy and simple kindness are essential powerful tools of national recovery." (Read more George W. Bush stories.)

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