Former President George W. Bush said that if the Republican Party is only going to represent white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, then it stands no chance of winning future elections, CNN reports.
Interviewed on The Dispatch podcast, Bush said if the only thing the GOP stands for is “White Anglo-Saxon Protestantism, then it’s not going to win anything.” The critique comes as GOP members of Congress like Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Andy Biggs attempted to set up an Anglo-Saxon caucus, a move widely criticized on both sides of the aisle for its tone-deafness and racist overtones.
Bush noted that at one point, “the Republican Party stands for exclusivity — you know, it used to be country clubs,” but that the focus on white people will mean an inevitable decline in people joining or voting for the Party members.
The nation’s 43rd President said that he understands the conservative concern over issues like immigration, but the Party needs to abandon its nativist branch, as well as its infighting. Bush commented on blowback people like Senator Mitt Romney and Congresswoman Liz Cheney have received for voting to impeach Donald Trump.
“One reason I can see it is because I studied history and I, you know, I remember the Know-Nothing Party, fiercely anti-immigrant. I remember the immigration policy of the 20’s: ‘too many Jews and Italians.’ Therefore we had zero immigrants, except for, of course, on the Texas border, where immigrants were always coming in to help, you know, the cattle raisers and the farmers. But yeah, I fully understand it. And I don’t cast aspersion. But I also know that without those immigrants, the economies of those areas would be, you know, paltry,” Bush told The Dispatch. “The purpose of responsible policymakers is to say, ‘Look, we fully understand where you’re coming from,’ ” he said, adding that policymakers should also shed light on the “positive contributions these citizens can make. It’s a natural phenomenon and it’s not a onetime experience in our country. We’ve been having these spasms of anxiety for a long period of time. On the other hand, a confident nation says, ‘E pluribis unum.'”