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The spirit of the president who envisioned a “kinder, gentler” world was invoked by his son Tuesday as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush assessed the state of American politics.
Bush noted that in the aftermath of the death of former President George H.W. Bush, President Donald Trump reached out to the Bush family, he told the Wall Street Journal CEO Council’s annual meeting on Tuesday.
Jeb Bush said Trump called him after the 41st president passed away and “couldn’t have been nicer,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Bush said the president and first lady Melania Trump have been “really gracious.”
Trump invited former President George W. Bush and his family to stay at Blair House, across from the White House and called upon them on Tuesday.
During his Tuesday appearance, Jeb Bush said his granddaughters were at the White House to see the Christmas decorations. The first lady also gave former first lady Laura Bush a tour of the decorations.
Jeb Bush said the fact Trump is not giving a eulogy at his father’s funeral is thrown up to him as a sign of discord.
“What people want to talk about is, ‘Well, why isn’t the president giving the eulogy?’ It’s because we have a unique circumstance here: My brother was president,” he said.
“I’m sorry,” he added. “First dibs.”
Jeb Bush added that their mother, former first lady Barbara Bush who died in April, would be looking down on Wednesday’s funeral, “about ready to slap George if he goes beyond 12 minutes.”
Jeb Bush noted that the low-key collaborative style of his father is currently out of favor in American politics, but offered hope it could return. “Politically it’s not winning,” he said. “But that’s not to say we shouldn’t restore it.”
Bush said that across America there are “a whole lot of people focused on solving problems, and they know that with civility and kindness and compassion and generosity of spirit you can do far more than pushing people down and making yourself look better, and all of the things that go on in Washington. I’m much more optimistic because I don’t come here often.”
Collaboration does not mean weakness, he added, noting that his father was a fierce competitor who believed in “winning in the right way.”
When asked about the 41st president on Saturday, Trump praised him first as a father.
“He was a very fine man,” Trump said, according to Bloomberg. “He was just a high-quality man who truly loved his family.”
“One thing that came through loud and clear, he was very proud of his family and very much loved his family,” Trump added.