Meacham Lauds Bush Defying Conservatives to 'Put Country First'

December 1st, 2018 11:08 PM

Appearing as a guest on Saturday's Today show on NBC to discuss the passing of former President George H.W. Bush, MSNBC contributor and historian Jon Meacham made a point of praising the former President for going left on some issues like taxes in defiance of the Republican party's conservative base.

Correspondent Andrea Mitchell also saw raising taxes as a bright spot on Bush's presidency and talked up the notion that it improved the economy.

At 7:15 a.m. Eastern, Mitchell concluded her commentary by recalling: "But also economically decades of prosperity possibly forged by his decision to raise taxes and sealed his own fate in not being reelected."

Meacham was then introduced, and co-host Sheinelle Jones began by asking him what "one word" would best describe the former President. Meacham began: "He put the country first. He, against his own interests, on a number of issues, certainly against the base of the party as it was constituted then and was becoming even more conservative."

After recounting that Bush's "motto was to use power to help people," the MSNBC contributor continued: "His substantive legacy is one of reaching out across what was a pretty wide aisle back in 1989 to 1993."

After noting that Republicans never had control of either house of Congress while Bush was President, Meacham added: "But what he did with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clean Air Act, the budget deal, as President Clinton will tell you, set the terms of properity of the 1990s."