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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.

Go deeper

Marjorie Taylor Green distances herself from "Anglo-Saxon political traditions" document

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said Saturday a document full of incendiary nativist rhetoric meant to promote a potential America First Caucus was a "draft proposal from an outside group that I hadn’t read."

Why it matters: The document linked to the caucus promises to "follow in President Trump’s footsteps" and outlines a policy platform to push "uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions" drew condemnation from a number of prominent Republicans.

Exclusive: Koch Network, Bush Center team up on immigration

Visitors view immigration exhibit at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. Photo: Stand Together

The Koch Network and the George W. Bush Presidential Center are partnering on an interactive immigration exhibit aimed at countering stereotypes and promoting immigration reform.

The big picture: The partnership to be announced Tuesday between the right-wing network's philanthropic arm, Stand Together, and the Dallas center comes as Congress is expected to debate immigration reform proposals amid resistance from many Republicans.

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressman criminally charged with lying to feds

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has been indicted on charges he falsified records and lied to federal investigators probing an illegal foreign donation scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: DOJ says a Fortenberry associate, who later cooperated with investigators, informed him he'd likely received illegal donations from an intermediary for a foreign national, but that Fortenberry denied any knowledge of such a scheme when contacted by the FBI.

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