George W. Bush's record in office became the subject of numerous tweets after a video message released Saturday from the former president elicited praise from some Democrats.
In the video statement, shared on Twitter by the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Bush called on people to come together to face the "shared threat" of the coronavirus pandemic.
Good morning. George W Bush belongs in The Hague.— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) May 3, 2020
The former president said "we have faced times of testing before," referencing the post 9/11 period when he said the nation rose "as one to grieve with the grieving" — a time period his administration rolled out its war on terror, which included a torture program.
Various progressive journalists pushed back, however, against those who appeared to be sanitizing Bush's record and suggesting he was preferable to President Donald Trump.
Like what is wrong with you? pic.twitter.com/YjVSp4wG9y— Sana Saeed (@SanaSaeed) May 3, 2020
"the bizarre propensity, on the part of those in the center and on the left of U.S. political life, to seek to rehabilitate the previous Republican president, George W. Bush."
If you had told me four years ago that George W Bush would be a hero to Democrats I would have had you committed. This is absolute insanity. The man is a war criminal who also let thousands die during Katrina. https://t.co/6WunURPQzY— Farron Cousins (@farronbalanced) May 3, 2020
The nice little painter man who passed mints to Michelle Obama at a funeral is actually a mass murderer who belongs in front of a war crimes tribunal, not being praised for releasing web videos.— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) May 3, 2020
Worthington pointed to a Pew poll as Trump took office showing that 48% of American backed the use of torture in some circumstances, saying it was "a sign of the enduring power of the Bush administration's bellicose pro-torture maneuverings in the wake of the 9/11 attacks."
* * *
And Trump himself joined in the pile-on, but for different reasons.
.@PeteHegseth “Oh bye the way, I appreciate the message from former President Bush, but where was he during Impeachment calling for putting partisanship aside.” @foxandfriends He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2020