“America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred in all forms,” the father, 93, and son, 71, said in a joint statement posted on The Bush Center website on Wednesday, August 16. “As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.”
The Bushes’ statement came one day after President Donald Trump sparked outrage when he defended the “very fine people” who gathered at the violent riots, which left one woman, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, dead and 19 others injured.
During a combative press conference at Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday, August 15, the real estate mogul, 71, claimed that “both sides,” including the “alt-left,” were to blame for the violence, reiterating his controversial “many sides” remark from over the weekend.
Several celebrities took to social media to condemn Trump’s comments. “It is time for all the generals that trump has appointed to declare him unfit for office. He is unfit and unstable. This is madness,” Chelsea Handler tweeted. Chris Evans added, “That press conference kinda just blew up my brain. Everyone should watch that entire thing from beginning to end. It’s truly shocking.”