Former President George W. Bush gave a rare post-presidency interview to the Dallas Morning News over the weekend, just ahead of the May 1 public opening of his presidential library in Dallas, Texas.
Though the former president shied away from commenting on current political debates or criticizing President Obama, he did field a question about the direction the Republican Party should take going forward:
Asked what message he’s sending to the GOP, Bush reverted to broad descriptions of freedom. He steered clear of giving his party specifics on how to rebuild, but he said that he stands by “the principles that guided me when I was president.”
“These are principles that need to be articulated and defended as time goes on,” he said.
For Bush, “compassionate conservatism,” much derided by the party’s harder-edged tea party adherents, is still a powerful draw.
He predicted a renewed interest in the philosophy, which he described as “the idea that articulating and implementing conservative ideas leads to a better life for all.”