NORTH CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA— “Sit down unless you don’t have a seat!” George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States told the filled-to-capacity standing room only crowd in North Charleston, South Carolina, while stumping on behalf of his brother Jeb Bush Monday night.
Bush began by telling stories about his own campaign for the presidency, remembering a time when a manure-throwing protester in Greenville, South Carolina heckled him. It was a “sign of things to come,” Bush joked.
“Since we left the White House I’ve been kind of quiet … eight years in the limelight was plenty,” he said.
“As a real shock to people, I’ve become an oil painter … Let me assure you I know, that the signature is worth more than the painting,” he joked.
The 43rd President said he was impressed with South Carolina’s response to the horrific Mother Emmanuel church shooting. It sent a “strong signal to the United States of America,” he said.
“I applaud your governor’s response to that tragedy, and I applaud you for putting her in office,” he stated with regard to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
“I came here for two reasons. One, because I care deeply about Jeb. Two, because I care deeply about our country,” he explained.
“Being your president was a high privilege and the honor of a lifetime,” he told the crowd. “The presidency is a serious job that requires sound judgement and good ideas, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Jeb Bush has the experience and character to be a great president.”
Look for someone with “executive experience, large complex organization,” he recommended, someone who “can handle intense pressure and won’t wither during crises.”
“Jeb’s a man of humble, deep, and genuine faith,” who reveals himself not in “loud words,” but actions, the 43rd President said. “He’s got the backbone necessary to make the tough decisions on behalf of the American people.”
“I made a lot of tough calls,” he said, recounting the September 11, 2001 attacks against America. “We did not know that the world would forever change that day.”
He explained that when the first tower was hit, he thought it could be an accident. By the time the second plane smashed into the other World Trade Center tower, it became an “attack.” When the third plane hit the Pentagon, it was clear that the jihadis had unraveled a “declaration of war,” the former president said.
“You can trust Jeb Bush to be measured and thoughtful on the world stage, the 43rd President said. “I think you ought to look for a leader who’s optimistic, with a vision for a brighter future. A person who can see beyond the horizon.”
Bush continued, “Jeb will listen to the voices of the disenfranchised. He will rise above the petty name calling. He will not need a poll or focus group to tell him what to do. He will stand on principle. He will not waver in the wind. And he will always do what’s right for the American people.
“In my experience, the strongest person usually isn’t the loudest one in the room. I’ve seen in my brother a quiet conviction and a core of conscious that cannot be shaken. And my hope is that the people of South Carolina will see this as well,” the former president concluded.