Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said at a festival over the weekend that he finds President Donald Trump “deeply troubling,” but that he prays on a daily basis for the commander-in-chief and for the nation at large.
Bush also delivered some pointed and thought-provoking advice about how people today should engage with political opponents — a welcome bit of commentary in an era plagued by vicious attacks and divisiveness.
The former governor, whose brother, George W. Bush, and father, George H.W. Bush, both served as U.S. presidents — and who himself challenged Trump along with a slew of other GOP candidates in the 2016 race — went on to say that he wants Trump to be successful, but that he feels the president has, in many ways, sabotaged himself.
“I find him deeply troubling in a lot of ways, but I pray for him every night and I pray for our country every night,” Bush said during remarks at the OZY Fest in New York City over the weekend, according to The Christian Post.
He continued, “I want him to succeed because if he doesn’t … I mean, who cares what happens to him? I care about you all, I care about my grandkids. This is a really important job and we want him to succeed.”
Bush said that most of the “problems and the crises” that have emerged during Trump’s short time as president have been the president’s own doing. But the former Florida governor wasn’t done there, as he also went after Trump’s infamous tweets and associated behaviors.
“Every day there’s a new game-changing context,” he said. “The debate changes when the president wakes up at 6:30 a.m. He released five tweets today … none of which is relevant to getting tax relief done, health care done, implementing his regulatory agenda.”
In the end, Bush issued a call for civility as part of a set of rules for political engagement that he unveiled during his talk.
First, he encouraged people to embrace and act on agreement if and when they find it with people who share different political inclinations. He also called for consistency, imploring people to criticize actions from individuals on their own side of the aisle if they would criticize those same actions in an opponent.
Bush’s call to civility, though, was perhaps the most pertinent piece of advice.
“We can’t solve problems [like that], even if it’s just fake, faux anger,” he said. “[Today], strength is measured by how you insult people — reject that.”