Unlike the small appearance of McCain who did not invite the president to his funeral, the Bushes show themselves to be a cut above by inviting the president to the funeral, even though President Trump, in the wars of politics, said some hurtful things about them.
President Trump, who had a hostile relationship with the last Republican family to occupy the White House, offered nothing but praise on Saturday for former President George Bush after he died at age 94, and the White House said the president would attend the funeral.
Mr. Trump plans to call former President George W. Bush, the son of the 41st commander in chief, to offer his condolences, the White House said in a statement. A state funeral is being arranged and Mr. Trump will designate Wednesday as a national day of mourning. Mr. Trump and the first lady will attend the funeral at the Washington National Cathedral.
“President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning. “Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family. His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!”
Mr. Trump’s words of admiration, delivered while in Argentina for an international summit meeting, belied his history of animosity with the Bush family. Mr. Trump eviscerated Mr. Bush’s son Jeb Bush during the 2016 Republican primaries and regularly disparaged another of his sons, former President George W. Bush, for the way he ran the country. The elder Mr. Bush refused to support Mr. Trump in 2016, voting instead for Hillary Clinton.
The passing of the former president had raised the thorny question of whether Mr. Trump would come to the funeral. Senator John McCain, another stalwart of a past Republican generation, made a point of excluding Mr. Trump from his funeral in September, but Mr. Bush was known for New England gentility and seemed less likely to want to make such a statement. It is traditional for the incumbent president to speak at services for a former president, although there have been exceptions.
SOURCE: Peter Baker
The New York Times