Bush’s aides fear Trump will fail to meet this moment


Donald Trump called on Americans to rally together following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. But those who helped George W. Bush unite the country after the Sept. 11 attacks say this president is not up to the task of healing a grieving nation.

“He’s incapable of uniting the country,” said Nicholas Rostow, who served as a national security aide to Bush. “Trump has no notable capacity for empathy. He’s a man without charm. And charm goes a long way.”

While Trump used the right words on Monday when he spoke of faith, family and shared values that bond the nation, Rostow and other senior Bush administration advisors said that no matter how this president says it, he has failed to show any evidence that he has the ability to comfort the way Bush did when he wrapped his arms around America after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington 16 years ago.

“There needs to be an understanding that the president has a unique opportunity, particularly after a tragedy, to summon our best instincts and promote a spirit of empathy and call to service,” said John Bridgeland, who served as director of Bush’s Domestic Policy Council during the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Its absence is a kind of very loud, echoing emptiness that is completely inconsistent with presidential leadership throughout our history,” said Bridgeland, now CEO of Civic Enterprises, a social action group. “Not to do this is to miss a big point of leadership. It’s been missing since (Trump) was elected.”

I think there is an opportunity to remind the American people, even some…



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