Bush, who touched on various topics while discussing his latest book during the interview, said he wrote in the name of the woman who served within his administration as U.S. Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009.
The 74-year-old said he voted for Rice despite her telling him that she wouldn’t take the office. Bush’s decision to vote for Rice, as opposed to the incumbent Donald Trump, signaled another juncture in his fractured relationship with his own Republican party.
The 43rd president criticized the Republican party in an interview with Today earlier this week.
“I would describe it as isolationist, protectionist and, to a certain extent, nativist,” he said.
Bush rephrased his sentiment when he spoke with People.
“Really what I should have said — there’s loud voices who are isolationists, protectionists and nativists, something, by the way, I talked about when I was president,” he said. “My concerns [are] about those -isms. But I painted with too broad a brush. Because by saying what I said, it excluded a lot of Republicans who believe we can fix the problem.”
According to CNN, Bush has continually faced attacks from Trump, who blamed the 43rd president for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The feud between the two former presidents escalated when Bush’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, ran against Trump in the 2016 GOP primary. Responding to critical tweets from Jeb, Trump said his opponent is an “embarrassment to his family,” CNN reported.
Earlier this year, Bush condemned the actions of the Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6.
“Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our Nation’s government in disbelief and dismay. It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight,” he said in a statement. “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic.”
Rice became the highest-ranking Black woman ever to serve in a presidential cabinet when she was appointed by Bush in 2005 to serve as secretary of state, according to History.com. The Birmingham, Alabama, native holds degrees in political science, as well as international relations from prestigious schools.
“Over the past four years, America has benefited from the wise counsel of Dr. Condoleezza Rice and our family has been enriched by our friendship with this remarkable person. We love her—I don’t know if you’re supposed to say that about the secretary of state,” Bush said as Rice was sworn in as Secretary of State.
The former president’s new book, Out of Many, One, features portraits of American immigrants along with their stories. Bush said the book highlights “the inspiring journeys of America’s immigrants and the contributions they make to the life and prosperity of our nation.”
One of those featured in the book is Carlos Mendez, who came to the U.S. as a 4-year-old and is still looking for citizenship.
“He has no home to go back to. And he’s a contributing member of our society, he’s engineer and he’s smart and he’s capable,” Bush said.