But Mr. Bush bristled when asked if Republicans need to move back toward the principles of former President Ronald Reagan, with whom he served two terms as vice president.
“I think the principles are well articulated by our leaders in Congress and by some others. You mentioned my son Jeb, and I happen to think he understands what the future calls for. But I don’t think it’s reinventing anything. … I don’t know what you mean by ‘Reagan principles.’ ”
Still, Mr. Bush hearkened back to the core conservatism of the party espoused by Mr. Reagan, saying, “You don’t have to change your fundamental principles. … Clearly, Reagan touched into the heartbeat of the American people in a wonderful way.”
Asked how the Republican Party can attract blacks and Hispanics, Mr. Bush was frank and pessimistic.
“I don’t know,” he said. “They try all the time. We tried: spectacular lack of success. I think you just keep trying.”
But Mr. Bush said neither group necessarily wants big government espoused by liberal Democrats.
“The common wisdom around, just from the little I read about, in Washington, is that you’ve got to go their way in order to get them to come our way. I don’t see it that way,” he said.
Mr. Bush’s feeling about the current state of politics - “We need less name-calling and more expounding on principles” - also applies to Mr. Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, who has been called a racist by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and others for her “wise Latina” comments. Mr. Bush, who appointed Judge Sotomayor to the U.S. District Court bench in 1991 as part of a deal with a liberal New York senator, said he feels she deserves a full and fair hearing.
“I do think we go a little far when we call her a racist,” he said. “Let the woman have her day before the Senate, let her answer questions. … I’m sure she’s a decent person and a good person, and I think she’s going to be confirmed - not to say that would be my perfect choice.”
On international affairs, Mr. Bush, who received top-secret briefings as CIA director, vice president and president, said he just doesn’t have enough information to know where things really stand. Still, he is optimistic about U.S. relations with Russia, China and Iran.
“I think its going to take a little while” for change to come to Iran, he said. “At least they had some kind of contested election. That’s encouraging.”
And he said international pressure “is against them on any kind of nuclear capability. That might help - I hope it will.”
Mr. Bush, who will travel to Germany this fall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, advocates patience with Russia.
“I say we stay engaged with them and do what we can to keep things moving forward,” he said.
The de facto U.S. ambassador to China in the 1970s, he thinks the communist nation has made “dramatic progress for human rights, individual liberties.”View Entire Story
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up.
Libertarian thought beyond politics, unrestrained by convention.
Empowering mind/body/spirit and health dialogue along with cutting-edge, conscious social, political, and world commentary with Adam Omkara. Join the Evolution!
Viewing and reviewing the Los Angeles experimental and classic punk scene with a nod to Rodney's English Disco
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc