- Former President George W. Bush expressed optimism that the Republican Party will “govern again.”
- He said it depends on whether the GOP can distance itself from “white Anglo-Saxon Protestantism.”
- Republicans, he suggested, need to embrace the traditional values the party was founded on.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Former President George W. Bush said he believes the Republican Party will win in future elections if its members embrace traditional ideals and curb the “white Anglo-Saxon Protestantism.”
Asked about the state of the Republican Party, Bush told “The Dispatch Podcast” he believes there’s potential to win in the upcoming midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election.
“I think Republicans will have a second chance to govern because I believe that the Biden administration is a uniting factor, particularly on the fiscal side of things,” he said.
But the Republican Party will not win by representing ideals tied to white supremacy, he suggested.
“If the Republican Party stands for exclusivity – it used to be country clubs, now it’s white Anglo-Saxon Protestantism – then it’s not going to win anything,” Bush said.
Bush was elaborating on a question about whether he believed the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
A recent poll found that 60% of Republicans believe President Joe Biden won the 2020 election because of widespread voter fraud, a baseless claim that former President Donald Trump and his allies spouted for months.
The poll, conducted by Reuters and Ipsos and published last month, said Republicans also want Trump to run for president in 2024.
“Republicans have their own version of reality,” John Geer, public opinion expert at Vanderbilt University, told Reuters. “It is a huge problem. Democracy requires accountability and accountability requires evidence.”
Bush said in the podcast interview he does not believe the election was stolen from Trump.
Other Republicans have also predicted a GOP win in the future elections – and plan to use Trump’s help to get there.
Sen. Lindsey Graham earlier this year said he wants to leverage former Trump’s influence to ensure that the Republican party takes back the House and Senate in 2022.
In an interview with Politico, Graham said he’ll meet with Trump to discuss the future of the GOP and his role in it.
“I’m going to try and convince him that we can’t get there without you, but you can’t keep the Trump movement going without the GOP united,” Graham said on Friday.
“If we come back in 2022, then, it’s an affirmation of your policies,” he said. “But if we lose again in 2022, the narrative is going to continue that not only you lost the White House, but the Republican Party is in a bad spot.”