In the wake of the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush released a joint statement on Wednesday condemning racist violence, but did not directly address Donald Trump or his remarks about the violence during his highly-criticized press conference on Tuesday.
“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,” the statement read. “We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.”
The statement comes a day after a tweet from former President Barack Obama addressing the Charlottesville riot became the most liked post in Twitter history, currently holding over 3.5 million likes. The tweet quoted Nelson Mandela from his book “Long Walk to Freedom” and included a picture of Obama greeting several children through a house window.
Though the two presidents did not address Trump, the Bush family has had a history of conflict with the current president. During last year’s Republican primary, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush openly opposed Trump, refused to support him after he secured the Republican nomination, and continued to criticize him after he took office.
“When I ran for office, I said he is a chaos candidate and would be a chaos president,” Jeb Bush said at a hedge fund conference back in May, adding that Trump is “living in the tyranny of the moment.”
Former first lady Barbara Bush also criticized Trump during the election, telling CBS News in a February 2016 interview that she thought Trump’s treatment of women was “unbelievable.”
“I don’t know how women can vote for someone who said what he said about Megyn Kelly,” she said. “And we knew what he meant too!”