Former President Barack Obama (D) says he disagreed with former President George W. Bush (R) on a “whole host of issues,” but the “institutions what we had in place were still more or less intact” after his presidency.
“Things were tough in 2008, 2009. We were going through the worst recession since the Great Depression, a massive financial crisis. We were still in the midst of two wars,” Obama said as he reminisced on the beginning of his presidency.
He continued, “We, I think, were overcoming a decade in which the possibilities of common work and common purpose had been diminished and downgraded, and government had been starved of the resources that were needed to make us a more equal and just and compassionate society, and yet, I have to say that the foundation stones, the institutions we had in place were still more or less intact.”
However, Obama said, “My predecessor, who I disagreed with on a whole host of issues, still had a basic regard for the rule of law and the importance of our institutions and democracy.”
“On the world stage, there was still a sense that America needed to lead, and that that leadership meant that as imperfect as we might be, there were certain ideals and values that were going to aspire to and advance,” he added.
Obama explained, “We cared about human rights. We cared about battling against the oppression of peoples in distant lands. And that we try and uphold — both in our own country, but around the world — certain core principles around rule of law, and the universal dignity of people, and the need for us to provide assistance for those who were suffering either from natural catastrophes or because of underdevelopment.”
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President Barack Obama on George W. Bush: "My predecessor, who I disagreed with on a whole host of issues, still had a basic regard for the rule of law." pic.twitter.com/jRjR9TKTOH— The Hill (@thehill) June 24, 2020
In comparison, Obama said, “What we have seen over the last couple of years is a White House enabled by Republicans in Congress and a media structure that supports them. That has not just differed in terms of policy … that suggests facts don’t matter, science doesn’t matter.”