The previous two Republican Presidents, George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush, issued a joint statement on the August 12 violence in Charlottesville, Virginia today. “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms,” the statement read. It did not mention President Donald Trump by name or specifically criticize the current president.
The full statement reads:
America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms. 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. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.
The statement follows more forceful messages from another Bush. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has been critical of Trump’s responses to Charlottesville on Twitter and Facebook, calling the president out by name.
“This is a time for moral clarity, not ambivalence,” Jeb Bush, who ran unsuccessful presidential campaign last year, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “I urge President Trump to unite the country, not parse the assignment of blame for the events in Charlottesville. For the sake of our country, he must leave no room for doubt that racism and hatred will not be tolerated or ignored by his White House.”
President Bill Clinton also issued a tweet after the events in Charlottesville, but hasn’t remarked on Trump’s Tuesday comments. “Even as we protect free speech and assembly, we must condemn hatred, violence and white supremacy,” Clinton wrote on August 12.
President Barack Obama quoted Nelson Mandela, posting the most-liked tweet in Twitter’s history. “‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion… People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love… For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’ – Nelson Mandela,” Obama tweeted
President Jimmy Carter has not issued a statement on Charlottesville.
During the violence at Charlottesville, Virginia, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed by a car that rammed into a group of counter-protesters at an alt-right rally. The suspect, James Alex Fields, Jr., was seen with white supremacist groups during the rally.