The two former presidents spoke separately at different events about their concerns for the current political climate, in comments that could be quite easily seen as a rebuke of Trump and his ethos.
Obama made his return to the political arena on Thursday to speak at a Democratic campaign event in New Jersey where he urged Americans to reject the “politics of division”.
He added: “Some of the politics we see now, we thought we put that to bed. That’s folks looking 50 years back. It’s the 21st century, not the 19th century.”
Bush also spoke at an event hours earlier on Thursday in New York, hosted by his George W. Bush Institute, where he outlined what he said were “new and serious threats” to democracy.
The Republican also criticised “bullying and prejudice” in public life and explicitly condemned white supremacy, something Trump has repeatedly failed to do.
Bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed." George W. Bush
There were many other quotes dotted among his speech that could be interpreted as being aimed at a specific target...
“Bigotry seems emboldened.”
“Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”
“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America.”
Typically, former presidents don’t tend to publicly comment on the current administration.
But it is a tactic that has been used before, not least by Michelle Obama who told the crowd at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women on October 3: “For the last eight years, we had a standard of ethics, a lot of constraints. What it means to have a commander-in-chief that actually upholds the standards of the White House.”