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Bush Presidents Issue Joint Statement On Charlottesville

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Former presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush issued a joint statement Aug. 16 on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The two former occupants of the White House did not directly address the response of President Donald Trump, but the content of their statement differed from Trump's remarks, CNN reported.

"America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms," they wrote, according to The Washington Post. "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."

Although Trump specifically condemned white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan in remarks at an Aug. 14 press conference, he seemed to retreat from this position the following day when he told a press briefing that both sides were equally to blame for the violence. One woman was killed when a neo-Nazi sympathizer drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, and many more were injured.

The joint statement was not the first time that George W. has distanced himself from Trump.

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"I don't like the racism, and I don't like the name-calling, and I don't like the people feeling alienated," he said in February when asked about Trump's policies, including on immigration. "Nobody likes that."

Other former presidents have also responded to Charlottesville.

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion," former President Barack Obama wrote on Twitter. "People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

The quote was a reference to Nelson Mandela's 1994 autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom."

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Former President Bill Clinton stated that the United States had to "condemn hatred, violence and white supremacy," the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

Politicians who challenged Trump for the presidency have also spoken out.

"Mr. President, you can't allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame," wrote Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who ran against Trump for the Republican nomination in 2016. "The #WhiteSupremacy groups will see being assigned only 50% of blame as a win. We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected."

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called for "moral clarity" and for Trump to unite the nation.

Sources: CNN, The Washington Post, San Diego Union Tribune/ Featured Image: Central Intelligence Agency/Flickr / Embedded Images: DoD News/Flickr, Leo Rodman/Flickr

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