Former President George W. Bush will be attending President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning two of America’s living ex-presidents have confirmed their attendance at the ceremony.
Former President Jimmy Carter said last month he would attend. Former President George H.W. Bush is not attending due to his health.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 3, 2017
“President and Mrs. George W. Bush will attend the 58th Presidential Inauguration Ceremony on January 20, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.,” a statement from Bush’s office said.
“They are pleased to be able to witness the peaceful transfer of power — a hallmark of American democracy — and swearing-in of President Trump and Vice President Pence,” the statement added.
The Bush clan distanced itself from Trump in the wake of the Republican primary process in which Trump needled and defeated former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, George W. Bush’s brother. However, George W. Bush reportedly supported Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
George W. Bush has noted that the presidential transition is a uniquely great facet of American democracy.
“The peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions and make new beginnings,” he said in his 2001 inaugural address.
At that time, Bush spoke about healing a divided nation.
” … sometimes our differences run so deep, it seems we share a continent but not a country. We do not accept this, and we will not allow it,” he said then.
“America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests, and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American,” Bush said then.
The greatest uncertainty over a former president attending Trump’s inauguration concerns former President Bill Clinton.
— Matt Williams (@matt_itvnews) January 3, 2017
Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, the former president’s wife, in a bitter campaign. Although in the wake of the election Trump publicly tried to mend fences with the Clintons, Trump and Bill Clinton engaged in a brief sniping match through the media last month.
New York Magazine, quoting anonymous sources, said the Clinton are expected to attend.
President Barack Obama is required to attend as part of the formal ceremony at the Capitol, after which he will depart.
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