Apr 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

George W. Bush: Today's Republican Party is "isolationist" and "nativist"

Former President George W. Bush on Tuesday described today's Republican Party as "isolationist, protectionist, and to a certain extent, nativist," during an interview with NBC's Today Show.

Why it matters: Bush's criticism comes as a surprise as he has stayed generally quiet since leaving Washington and "has typically avoided directly criticizing the party," CNN writes.

What he's saying: "Well, that’s not exactly my vision, but you know what, I’m just an old guy they put out to pasture. So, just a simple painter," Bush said when asked if he was disappointed by his party.

  • Bush added that he thinks a Republican candidate with more progressive views on immigration, gun reform and increased school funding has a chance at succeeding in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
  • "I think if the emphasis is integrity and decency and trying to work to get problems solved, I think the person has a shot," he said.

The big picture: The former president's comments come days after Punchbowl News reported that far-right House Republicans introduced an America First Caucus aimed at pushing "uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions" — some of the most nakedly nativist rhetoric seen in the modern Congress.

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