In a rare interview yesterday, former president George W. Bush said he’s done with politics, explaining that he believes “it’s bad for the presidency to have former presidents bloviating, opining, and telling people how it ought to be done.” On his show tonight, Bill O’Reilly questioned why Bush wouldn’t be doing more to help his party retake the White House in 2012, arguing that he should be going to fundraisers and helping bring the party together to defeat President Obama.
O’Reilly played a clip of an interview he conducted with the former president in 2010 when he tried to press Bush on whether he would go around the country and campaign for the Republican presidential candidate in 2012. Bush said he was, in essence, done with getting involved in politics.
Then O’Reilly brought on former Bush press secretary and current The Five host Dana Perino to explain why Bush has not been as willing as other former presidents to play a political role post-presidency. Perino said Bush wasn’t directing his remarks at any specific president, though both she and O’Reilly brought up Jimmy Carter as an example of a former president who’s been speaking out for decades now.
O’Reilly admitted that he didn’t agree with Bush’s decision, and made the case for why his public support could be important in the race.
“This is a vital election… So, President Bush is an, let’s say, he is a prestigious Republican. He’s prestigious. I don’t think he’s got the credibility to go and really campaign like Clinton does, Clinton’s much more popular than Bush the younger, but he’s prestigious and in certain fundraising opportunities, he could help Mitt Romney big-time and so could his father. He’s going to sit it out?”
O’Reilly asked if Bush “love[s] his country enough to go against what he wants and help Mitt Romney.” He found it unbelievable that the last Republican president of the United States would just “sit it out.” Perino said that Bush is likely going to avoid the RNC convention in Tampa, saying that elections should “be about the future.”
Watch the video below, courtesy of Fox News: