Former President George W. Bush appeared to criticize Republican nominee Donald Trump - without mentioning him by name - Tuesday, charging fellow GOP members to make sure that "everyone feels welcome" in the party.
Bush was speaking at a Cincinnati fundraiser for Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. The Wall Street Journal reported that Bush attacked policies of "isolationism, nativism and protectionism."
During the course of his campaign, Trump has said he would consider defending NATO allies only "if they fulfill their obligations to us"; limit immigration from countries affected by terrorism; and renegotiate trade deals and implement tariffs on foreign goods.
"It was an interesting exercise of statecraft,” former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell told the Journal in describing Bush's speech. “No one could say he directly spoke in attack mode against Donald Trump. Neither could anybody miss the fact that he thought there were some cutting-edge issues that Trump is advancing that need to be scrutinized and debated.”
Both Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, skipped last month's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. George W. Bush's brother Jeb unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination this year and has repeatedly criticized Trump.