George W. Bush said he favored a welcoming immigration policy and warned that the media is “indispensable to democracy” in an interview with Matt Lauer Monday that seemed to take several shots at President Trump.
“I think it’s very important for all of us to recognize that one of our great strengths is for people to be able to worship the way they want to, or not worship at all,” Bush said. “A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely. People who murder the innocent are not religious people. They want to advance an ideology.”
Laure asked Bush if he thought the ban was helpful in the war on terrorism.
“It’s very hard to fight the war on terrorism if we’re in retreat,” Bush answered. “I think we learned that lesson — that if the United States decides to pull out before a free society emerges, it’s going to be hard to defeat them. The enemy is very good about exploiting weakness. If that’s the goal, to defeat ISIS, I believe that we should project strength.”
The former president acknowledged that Trump has only a little over a month in office.
“I think you have to take the man for his word that he wants to unify the country, and we’ll see whether he’s able to do so,” Bush said. “It’s hard to unify the country with the news media being so split up. When I was president, you know, you mattered a lot more because there was like three of you, and now there’s all kinds of information being bombarded out and people can say things anonymously. It’s just a different world.”