Don’t fall into ‘trap’ of being anti-Muslim, president warns
George H. W. Bush was “deeply offended” by Republican congressman Joe Wilson’s shout of “You lie!” to President Barack Obama during Obama’s address to Congress in September, and the former one-term president is calling on US politicians to rise to “a certain decorum and civility.”
During an interview with Parade magazine, Bush expressed disappointment with what he sees as a degrading American political debate.
“There has to be a certain decorum and civility,” Bush said, adding that Rep. Wilson’s shout of “You lie!” during the president’s address on health care to a joint session of Congress “smashed” the decorum of Congress. “I thought, ‘How have we gotten here?’”
While he said he does not agree with some of Obama’s policies, Bush insists that all Americans should want the President to succeed. On the state of the world: “We need to get ourselves out of this financial mess and help Americans get back on their feet. Globally, China and Russia remain critically important. And I think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t fall into the trap of being against Islam because of the excesses of the few.”
Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, was both heavily criticized and lauded by some after his outburst during the president’s Sept. 9 address on health care. The incident made the first-term congressman a household name and helped raise millions of dollars both for Wilson and for his opponents.
Over the years, there have been news reports that the elder Bush disagreed at times with the policies and actions of his son, President George W. Bush. The senior Bush was reported to have balked at unilateral military action in Iraq, among other things.