For breaking his “no new taxes” campaign pledge and raising taxes before the 1992 presidential election, former President George H. W. Bush was named a recipient of this year’s John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation honored Bush for the “courage he demonstrated as President when he agreed to a 1990 budget compromise which reversed his 1988 campaign pledge not to raise taxes and put his re-election prospects at risk.” Paul W. Bridges, a former mayor of Uvalda, Georgia, will also receive a Profile in Courage Award for opposing stricter immigration laws in Georgia.
Reagan conservatives never trusted George H.W. Bush even though he won the 1988 election by running for Ronald Reagan’s third term, and Bush’s betrayal on taxes confirmed that he felt more comfortable with the more moderate policies favored by the bipartisan establishment in the media and permanent political class.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will present the awards in Boston on May 4, 2014.
“In his first term in office, President George H. W. Bush risked his reputation and ultimately his political career by forging an important compromise on the budget in 1990 that moved our country forward, and should not be forgotten,” said Jack Schlossberg, President Kennedy’s grandson and the presenter of the awards. “Mayor Paul Bridges took a stand on an issue affecting the rights of people in his community and never wavered in the face of fierce criticism.”
Al Hunt, the longtime Washington journalist and columnist for Bloomberg View, chairs the fifteen-member Profile in Courage Award Committee which also includes former Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT); liberal Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-MD); Adam Frankel, a former speechwriter to President Barack Obama; pro-amnesty Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC); John Seigenthaler, an anchor at Al Jazeera America; and former liberal Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), a figure held in disdain by the conservative grassroots.