‘Imagine if former President Bush, as Trump’s most recent Republican predecessor, backed a Democrat. Bush’s voice has the singular power to reach moderate Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters, freeing them to walk away from the Party of Trump.’
That’s Fox News analyst Juan Williams musing in an op-ed for The Hill on Monday about what an endorsement from George W. Bush could mean for Joe Biden’s chances in the 2020 election.
“If he announces he is voting for Biden, it will change some votes,” Williams said, pointing to the possibility amid a simmering feud between the former and current president.
Williams points out that Bush has avoided calling out the president by name, but that doesn’t mean he has held back with his criticisms. In a 2017 speech, Bush said politics have been “degraded by casual cruelty… argument turns too easily into animosity.”
That same year, Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, put out a statement in the wake of Trump’s failure to unequivocally rebuke the white nationalists involved in the deadly Charlottesville rally. “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms,” they said, again without calling Trump out directly.
Trump, on the other hand, tends to go the more direct route.
“I’ve heard for years he kept the country safe after 9/11 — what does that mean? … What about during 9/11?” Trump said back in 2016. “The worst attack ever in this country. It was during his presidency. I mean, we had the worst attack ever.”
Last month, Trump, who also laid into rival Jeb Bush during the 2016 campaign, slammed the older Bush brother on Twitter
.@PeteHegseth “Oh bye the way, I appreciate the message from former President Bush, but where was he during Impeachment calling for putting partisanship aside.” @foxandfriends He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2020
Williams suggests that their history could draw Bush into taking a stance.
“There is no question about whom Carter, Clinton and Obama plan to support,” he wrote. “That leaves Bush holding the biggest stick here. Groups of leading conservative thinkers in The Lincoln Project and a new group, including several former top GOP officials called Republican Voters Against Trump, have set the table for Bush to speak up.