Notwithstanding his previous retraction of similar comments, Brit Hume asserted on Fox News Sunday that it was "very like" President George H.W. Bush "to refrain from comment on other political figures, the incoming president, and so on." In fact, Bush repeatedly criticized President Bill Clinton's policies while Clinton was in office.
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Notwithstanding his 2005 retraction of similar comments, guest host Brit Hume asserted during an interview with President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush on the January 11 edition of Fox News Sunday that it was "very like" the two of them "to refrain from comment on other political figures, the incoming president, and so on." In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, the elder Bush repeatedly criticized President Bill Clinton's policies while Clinton was in office.
During Fox News Sunday, after Hume asked George H.W. Bush if he agreed with his son's statement that he was "very pleased" with President-elect Barack Obama's transition, the elder Bush responded, in part, "Totally. And if I didn't, I wouldn't tell you." Hume then said: "This is very like you, and like you as well, to refrain from comment on other political figures, the incoming president, and so on."
However, Hume retracted similar comments he made in 2005 after Media Matters published an item highlighting his false claim that in contrast with Clinton, George H.W. Bush did not "criticize the sitting president and his administration."
On September 21, 2005, Hume stated:
Two nights ago on this program, we said that, in attacking President Bush on Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the budget, former president Clinton did something that Bush's father did not do, and that is to criticize his successor. That was incorrect. While the first President Bush did so rarely, he did criticize President Clinton and his administration several times, including on his Haiti and Somalia policies. We stand corrected and regret the error.
From the January 11 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:
HUME: Now, you've watched this range of appointments that Barack Obama has announced. Your take on it, your feeling about it?
GEORGE W. BUSH: I've been impressed.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, because, one, he showed decisiveness. Two, he has picked people that are capable and competent people. And I think he's had a very good transition.
And frankly, I think Josh Bolten, my chief of staff, and the people that are working here in the White House have also had a good transition, because they have reached out to the president-elect's team at all levels.
And the message is, you know, we want there to be a seamless move from -- from us leaving and you coming in, and we want you to succeed. And so, I've been very pleased with what I've seen over the -- since the election.
HUME: Do you agree with that?
GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Yes, totally. Totally. And if I didn't, I wouldn't tell you. Same policy.
HUME: Well, look. This is very like you, and like you as well, to refrain from comment on other political figures, the incoming president, and so on. Why?
GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Well, why be out there looking like you're carping and criticizing and know everything?
I mean, I heard what the president said about President Obama, President-elect Obama, and I feel the same way. Support him where you can and don't go out there criticizing and carping. You look small yourself, for one thing, but that's not the main reason.
The main reason is he needs support. And if it's something you disagree with violently, sit on the sidelines and shut up.
GEORGE W. BUSH: There'll be plenty of opportunities for people to carp, trust me. I mean, this is a --
GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Oh, yeah. I know there will.
GEORGE W. BUSH: -- this is a job that, as dad knows as well as anybody, it's, you know, there -- you'll get plenty of opinions when you're the president, and you'll get plenty of, you know, flattering statements, and you'll get your fair share of not-so-complimentary comments.