They may have different political affiliations, but former US Presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama were united in what appeared to be thinly-veiled criticism of current leader Donald Trump.
While no names were mentioned, Bush made a rare public speech in New York, in which he denounced “bullying and prejudice” in public life. He made particular reference to nationalism, racial divisions and Russia’s intervention in last year’s election.
“Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity”, he told the audience.
Speaking from Democratic campaign events, Obama said basic American values, such as inclusiveness, were increasingly being left out of modern politics.
“Instead of our politics reflecting our values, we’ve got politics infecting or communities. Instead of looking for ways to work together and get things done in a practical way, we’ve got folks who are deliberately trying to make folks angry to demonise people with different ideas”, he said.
Trump has previously criticised both Bush and Obama, describing each as “perhaps the worst president in US history”.