George W. Bush Seemed To Make Some Thinly Veiled References To Jan. 6 And Rightwing Extremism In His 9/11 Memorial Speech

Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and to commemorate the occasion, former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama made appearances at public ceremonies. Bush, who was in his first year in office at the time, spoke at both Shanksville, Pennsylvania and Ground Zero in New York City. And in his speech at the former, he mourned the divisions that plague the nation, while getting in some nudging references to the followers of another former president, who was otherwise engaged.

“In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people,” Bush said. “When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own.”

Bush admitted he didn’t have any “explanations or solutions” for the nation’s current ills. “I can only tell you what I’ve seen. On America’s day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab for a neighbor’s hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know.”

He also alluded to one of the major problems tearing apart America two decades later. “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” he said. “But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

Bush didn’t name any group by name, but considering that extremists on the right greatly outweigh those on the left, it wasn’t hard for many people to connect the dots.

Others, however, did not want to praise the president who oversaw the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You can watch Bush’s full speech in the tweet embedded above.