Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush released a joint statement on Wednesday condemning hate groups, one day after widely criticized remarks by President Donald Trump, who came to the defense of white supremacists by telling reporters they do not bear all the blame for last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
JUST IN: Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush: “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms" pic.twitter.com/d2Y58OYjAO
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 16, 2017
“America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms,” the statement by the Bushes said. “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. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.”
The vicious criminal assault of Deandre Harris by white supremacists. The clearest video.
ARREST THESE MEN. pic.twitter.com/oV13SGv1Uw
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 15, 2017
Trump said Tuesday there were “some very bad people” among the protesters. But he also said: “You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
Republicans Gov. John Kasich, of Ohio, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham directly condemned Trump’s comments.
“It’s terrible. The president of the United States needs to condemn these kinds of hate groups,” Kasich said on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday. He said “hearing these marchers” is “pathetic.”
Kasich said that “this is not about winning an argument.”
“There is no moral equivalency between the KKK, the neo-Nazis and anybody else,” he said.
Senator Graham said in a statement that Trump’s words “are dividing Americans, not healing them.”
“Through his statements yesterday, President Trump took a step backward by again suggesting moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. [Heather] Heyer,” Graham said.