George W. Bush has been the epitome of class and tact during what was an extremely vicious, divisive election season. And he was even more classy over the past eight years, when Barack Obama continually criticized him and attacked his legacy. But eventually, the gloves were officially off.
Bush met with Jewish donors last year, and he had a lot to say about the Obama administration. And Bush harshly criticized Obama, saying that he was naive on Iran, and the upcoming nuclear deal, and also accused Obama of losing the war against ISIS.
The Republican Jewish Coalition session was held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, and owner Sheldon Adelson attended. An anonymous attendee transcribed Bush’s speech. And while Bush has rarely criticized Obama, he didn’t hold back then, saying that Obama was placing the United States in “retreat” around the world.
Bush also spoke about Iran, arguing that Obama was too quick to relax sanctions on Iran, and targeted new president Hassan Rouhani. “He’s smooth,” Bush said. “And you’ve got to ask yourself, is there a new policy or did they just change the spokesman?” He continued, “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That’s how Americans should view the deal.”
He also said that ISIS is simply Al Qaeda’s “second act”, and that the name may have changed, but the goal of killing innocent people was still the same. He also pointed out that some of the worst terrorists in the world, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, were captured during his presidency. “Just remember the guy who slit Danny Pearl’s throat is in Gitmo, and now they’re doing it on TV.”
“In order to be an effective president… when you say something you have to mean it,” he said. “You gotta kill em.”
It wasn’t just the Middle East that Bush addressed. He also slammed Russian president Vladimir Putin, pointing out that he was only popular because he controls the Russian media. “Hell, I’d be popular, too, if I owned NBC news,” Bush remarked.
It may be an older speech, but everything he said is just as valid today as it was last year. And Donald Trump would be wise to heed Bush’s words and learn from his example.