(AP)

Trump receives backlash for attacking the Bush family, praising Putin

Trump picked a fight with the Bush family at the same rally he vouched for Putin's character, now he's hearing it


Taylor Link
July 7, 2018 8:41PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump usually receives accolades from Republicans for his energetic rallies. But Trump may have overstepped a line Thursday that no president, even the 45th, can cross. He mocked one of his predecessors.

Numerous Republicans came out to condemn the president for his derisive language directed at former President George H. W. Bush.

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Speaking at a rally in Montana, Trump compared his campaign slogan to that of Bush's.

"You know all of the rhetoric you see. 'Thousands points of light.' What the hell was that by the way?" Trump said.

"Thousand points of light," he continued. "What does that mean? I know one thing. 'Make America Great Again,' we understand. Putting America first, we understand. Thousand points of light? I never quite got that one. What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out? It was put out by a Republican, wasn't it?"

Trump has called immigrants "animals" and lead chants that encourage the arrest of his political opponents. In response, most Republicans never even raise a peep. Yet that all changed after Trump's harebrained line went too far, apparently.

Trump's words may have stood out, in part, because it contrasted so sharply with what he had to say about Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump called Putin "fine" and dismissed naysayers who fear that he will not be prepared for a meeting with the former KGB agent.

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"Putin’s fine, he’s fine, we’re all fine, we’re people," Trump said in Montana. "Will I be prepared? Totally prepared – I have been preparing for this stuff my whole life, they don’t say that.”

After the rally, Bush's granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager, explained what the "Thousand points of light" slogan meant by sharing a letter Bush wrote in 1997.

“I have pursued life itself over many years now and with varying degrees of happiness. Some of my happiness still comes from trying to be in my own small way a true ‘point of light,’” the letter said. “I believe I was right when I said, as President, there can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others. So I do that now, and I gain happiness.”

Hager expanded on the phrase, tweeting: “A point of light was a vision about serving others, one that lit up our country, one I hope our country hasn’t lost.”

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Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bush Family Donald Trump George H. W. Bush Republican Party Russia Vladimir Putin

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