CNN Lauds Bush 41 Raising Taxes, 'Owed It to All Americans'

March 1st, 2019 3:13 PM

Appearing as a guest on Thursday's CNN Tonight to preview the network's upcoming special on the Bush political family, CNN historian Tim Naftali was true to form as a CNN analyst as he praised President George H.W. Bush for, among other things, raising taxes, stating that he "owed it to all Americans," as he also complained that Bush ran a "dreadful" campaign in 1988, obviously referring to the Willie Horton issue.



At 11:52 p.m. Eastern, host Don Lemon set up the commentary by asking: "So, as we gain more distance from each of the Bush presidencies, what is time starting to reveal about each of these men and how they made their mark on America?"

Naftali began: 

The first thing is, of course, because they're human beings, they're flawed. As we move back, however in time, we should, I think, ask questions about the grander effect of their decisions. And, in the case of George Herbert Walker Bush, I think that, with time, people will become more and more appreciate of the hard calls that he made while he was in office.

He continued:

He certainly wasn't perfect, and the 1988 campaign was quite dreadful. But he understood because of his life of service and, I think, because of his psychology, he understood how to handle the collapse of the Soviet empire -- first in Eastern Europe and then the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Then came the praise for tax increases as he added:

And, secondly, he understood that, despite the fact he had promised his base that he would not raise taxes, when staring into the abyss of a federal budget deficit, he recognized that he owed it to all Americans to break his promise not to raise taxes and take the political hit.