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George Bush in Michigan in 2009. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush (R) wrote in a statement Tuesday that he and his wife, Laura, are "anguished" by the death of George Floyd, and said that "it is time for America to examine our tragic failures."

Why it matters: It's a stark juxtaposition when compared to fellow Republican President Trump's response to current civil unrest. While Trump has called for justice in Floyd's death, he's also condemned violent protestors and threatened to deploy military personnel if demonstrations continue.

  • The former president, however, made no mention of the current administration in his statement.
  • Bush writes that he and his wife over the past week actively "resisted the urge to speak out, because this is not the time for us to lecture. It is time for us to listen."

What he's saying: Bush argued Americans best serve their neighbors when they "try to understand their experience."

  • "It remains a shocking failure that many African Americans, especially young African American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country...," Bush wrote.
  • "How do we end systemic racism in our society? The only way to see ourselves in a true light is to listen to the voices of so many who are hurting and grieving. Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America — or how it becomes a better place," he added.

The bottom line: Bush said "lasting justice will only come by peaceful means," condemning looting and destruction that's occurred in some demonstrations.

  • But "we also know that lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system."

Go deeper

Updated Aug 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden to deliver remarks in Pittsburgh on Trump's America and vision for future

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during the Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center on Aug. 20, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Monday to make an address "on whether voters feel safe" in President Trump's America and offer his vision for a "better future," his campaign said in a statement.

Of note: The Biden campaign's announcement Sunday comes one day after the New York Times reported that the former vice president would be making a trip to "condemn violence, and to note that chaos has unfolded" on Trump's watch.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker