Without mentioning him by name, former President George W. Bush appeared to offer a rebuke to President Donald Trump during a speech in New York on Wednesday.
Bush defended globalization, free trade and immigration in his speech and condemned divisive politics and white supremacy just two months after Trump said “both sides” were to blame for a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America,” Bush said at the speech intended to promote democracy and freedom. “We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade, forgetting that conflict, instability and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism. We’ve seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places.”
Bush said a crisis has been created in recent months that have distorted the identity of the United States.
“In all these ways, we need to recall and recover our own identity,” he said. “Americans have a great advantage. To renew our country we only need to remember our values.”
The speech was sponsored by George W. Bush Institute.
Watch Bush’s full speech in the video below:
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Bush has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since he left office in January 2009, avoiding commenting on political issues.