Both the Trump and the Bush families have been all class in the wake of the 41st president’s passing. On top of refusing to pull a McCain by inviting President Trump to the funeral, the Bushes have only expressed kind words regarding the current president.
On Tuesday, while speaking before the WSJ CEO Council, Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, thanked both Donald and Melania Trump for their graciousness throughout this process, adding that President Trump “couldn’t have been nicer” when he called to pay his respects.
None of that means, however, that Jeb Bush and President Trump’s differences have been resolved. In the same talk, Jeb spoke about his father’s famous call for a “kinder, gentler America” and how that needs to come back.
“Politically it’s not winning,” Mr. Bush said of his father’s style. “But that’s not to say we shouldn’t restore it.”
Jeb Bush hoped that his father’s death would not be “an end of an era.” Later, he spoke of the optimism he has that such an era will return.
“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,” he said. “I’m much more optimistic because I don’t come here often.”
As to why President Trump would not be giving the eulogy at his father’s funeral, the former Florida governor said that it was a matter of circumstance, being that his brother is a former president.
“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. First dibs.”
Jeb Bush recalled his father as being a decent, generous man that treated people with integrity.
“He was the most generous, kind person you’d ever meet,” Jeb Bush said. “He treated everybody the same way and that’s the most powerful lesson I’ve learned.”
President Trump did attend the funeral service for H.W. Bush and the family made it clear that politics would not be welcome at the event. The Washington Post reported:
The Bush family contacted the White House this past summer to say that President Trump would be welcome at the funeral, scheduled Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral, and to assure him that the focus would be on Bush’s life rather than their disagreements, one former administration official said.
The truce with Trump allows the Bush family, and the nation, to honor the legacy of a president who guided the United States through the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the breakup of the Soviet Union without becoming mired in today’s toxic politics. Trump in turn has been effusive in his praise of Bush since his death Friday, and paid respects Monday night at the U.S. Capitol, where the 41st president is lying in state.
A former Bush associate told Politico that the service “will be about the celebration of the noble public service that George H.W. Bush gave. It’s not going to be about anybody else. I don’t think it’s going to be about Trump.”