Former US President George W. Bush said the rise of Trump supporters suggests Republicans "want to be extinct" ahead of a special election that is taking place on Saturday to replace a Texas congressman who died after contracting COVID-19.
Bush is currently promoting a new book called "Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants," which is a compilation of portraits and stories about US immigrants. He was asked about recent attempts by pro-Trump Republicans to create a congressional caucus embracing "Anglo-Saxon traditions" in an interview published on Friday by the Dispatch podcast.
“To me that basically says that we want to be extinct,” the former president said.
If current patterns persist, Bush predicts that "there’s not going to be a party" in the next few years, as it will ultimately become a "one-person party."
"I mean I read about that and I'm saying to myself, 'Wow, these people need to read my book.' And I mean, it's like saying when I was running for Governor of Texas, you'll never get any Latino votes because you're Republican. And I said you watch. And I worked hard," Bush explained. "And the key thing was to let them know that I could hear their voice. I mean, democracy is great in that sense. And the idea of kind of saying you can only be Republican “if,” then the ultimate extension of that is it ends up being a one-person party."
When asked if he agreed with "more than 50%" of Republicans who believe the election was rigged, Bush replied, "No. I guess I'm one of the other 50%."
"By the way, I’m still a Republican, proud to be Republican. I think Republicans will have a second chance to govern, because I believe that the Biden administration is a uniting factor, and particularly on the fiscal side of things. So, you know, we’ll see. But I know this – that if the Republican party stands for exclusivity, you know, used to be country clubs, now evidently it’s white Anglo-Saxon Protestantism, then it’s not going to win anything."
Bush's comments came as a special election is to be held in the sixth congressional district, whose Republican representative Ron Wright died in February. There will be 23 candidates in the race, with all but one of the 11 Republicans reportedly supporting Trump.
Former wrestler Dan Rodimer, one of the candidates in the election, is vowing to "make America Texas again" and claims that "commies in DC are ruining America" in a rather colorful election ad full of pretty harsh statements and catchphrases.
However, Susan Wright, the widow of the former congressman, has been endorsed by former president Trump, who said on Monday that she "will be strong on the border, crime, pro-life, our brave military and vets, and will always protect your second amendment."
Former Marine Michael Wood, the only Republican not pledging allegiance to Trump, told CNN he was "afraid for the future of the country," citing some of his fellow party members' adherence to Trump's claims that the election was stolen from him and the proliferation of conspiracy theories like QAnon.
"I felt like I had to stand up," Wood said. "Somebody needed to stand up and say this isn’t what the Republican party should be."
A recent poll showed that 70% of Republicans believe Biden did not receive enough votes to be elected president.
And yet, Wood, who is running on an anti-Trump platform, confessed to voting for Trump in 2020. He added in the interview that he believes "the party is going to get to where I am eventually. I want that to happen without having to lose and lose and lose."
In recent elections, the Texas sixth district has shifted toward the Democrats, but it is still unlikely to flip. As for Trump himself, he told Fox Business earlier this week that he was “100% thinking about running” in 2024.