Bannon faults George W. Bush for 'destructive' presidency

Posted at 7:06 AM, Oct 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-21 10:12:11-04

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Former White House adviser Steve Bannon depicted former President George W. Bush as bumbling and inept, faulting him for presiding over a "destructive" presidency during his time in the White House.

Bannon's scathing remarks on Friday night amounted to a retort to a Bush speech in New York earlier this week, in which the 43rd president denounced bigotry in Trump-era American politics and warned that the rise of "nativism," isolationism and conspiracy theories have clouded the nation's true identity.

"He has no earthly idea whether he's coming or going, just like it was when he was President of the United States," Bannon said. "I want to apologize up front to any of the Bush folks outside and in the audience, okay, because there has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush's."

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But Bannon, speaking to a capacity crowd at a California Republican Party convention, said Bush had embarrassed himself and didn't know what he was talking about.

The remarks came during a speech thick with attacks on the Washington status quo, echoing his call for an "open revolt" against establishment Republicans.

During Bush's Thursday speech, the former Commander in Chief said "bigotry seems emboldened" in the country, without getting into the specifics of the statement.

"We've seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty," Bush said. "Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions, forgetting the image of God we should see in each other."

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