After Charlottesville, both Bush presidents denounce ‘hatred in all forms’

Olivier Knox
Chief Washington Correspondent
Former President George W. Bush and former President George H.W. Bush; Charlottesville, Va. (Yahoo News photo illustration; photos: Bob Levey/Getty Images, Justin Ide/Reuters)

Former President George H.W. Bush and former President George W. Bush, in a rare joint statement, declared Wednesday that Americans must reject “hatred in all its forms” in the aftermath of the white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va.

“America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms,” the father-son duo said in the statement, which was released by both their offices.

“As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights,” they said, in a reference to Thomas Jefferson. “We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.”

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The combined message came a day after President Trump said there was “blame on both sides” in Charlottesville, where a young woman was killed when a white supremacist allegedly deliberately drove his car into a group of counterprotesters. The “Unite The Right” rally participants also clashed with so-called antifa counterprotesters. Some prominent Republicans have broken sharply with Trump, while white nationalists have cheered him on.

Joint statements from the Bushes are rare, though they have released at least one before — they did so in 2013, after former Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci died, according to the elder Bush’s office.

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