The former president was even praised by the Guardian, in an editorial titled, "The Guardian view on George W Bush: a welcome return." In it, the editorial board laments that Bush "sounds a lot better out of office than in it."
"Republicans should be talking down the threat from Islam and champion immigration reform, as Mr Bush once did. In reminding us of that, the 43rd US president should be applauded," the outlet's editorial board wrote.
Appearing on the Today Show on Monday, Bush offered criticism of the current President, despite Trump’s soaring approval rate within his own party.
— Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) February 27, 2017
“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy … We need an independent media to hold people like me to account,” Bush remarked. “Power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive.”
Bush suggested that Trump’s battle with the media could undermine work to censure regimes that do not support press freedom.
“It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press if we’re not willing to have one ourselves,” Bush added.
The last Republican to occupy the White House prior to the current administration expressed his disapproval with Trump’s executive order on immigration, claiming that it is based on religion.
“I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law,” Bush said, adding that focusing on Muslim-majority nations undermines “the bedrock of our freedom — a bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely.”
Bush stated that “we all need answers,” when asked if he believes Trump has ties to Russia. The former President stopped short of calling for a special prosecutor to investigate, saying that he is not a lawyer, and therefore is not sure of “the right avenue to take."
The 43rd President has long been loathed by Democrats for his disastrous Iraq War, the torture program, failing to hunt down Osama bin Laden, a recession, the Patriot Act, and a weak response to Hurricane Katrina, among other issues. Apparently all it takes for the liberal media to forget these actions, however, is a little criticism for the current President.
— #LiberalProgress (@LiberalProg) February 27, 2017
“I see we’re back on the george bush is a hero storyline,” Gideon Resnick of the Daily Beast tweeted.
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) February 27, 2017
“2005: Bush the war monger let a city full of blacks drown for fun and profit,” according to a tweet from @GamerAnalogy. “2017: Bush is a principled republican!”
It is extremely unusual for a former president to criticize a sitting president, especially one within their own party.
— ☭ Alon Lessel ☭ (@alonlessel) February 27, 2017
The 43rd President’s brother, Jeb Bush, ran against Trump in the Republican primaries, and generated very little interest, despite massive campaign funding.