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In an interview, former president George W. Bush talks of ‘compassionate conservatives,’ his belief in unification

Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush arrive in the Crypt of the US Capitol for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington.
Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush arrive in the Crypt of the US Capitol for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington.Jim Lo Scalzo/Associated Press

Former president George W. Bush spoke about there needing to be “leadership to help heal wounds” within the nation during an interview set to air on CBS this week.

When CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell asked Bush if there are compassionate conservatives today, Bush said, “Absolutely. I’m one. And I think there are a lot.”

“The problem is with an angry society, it’s hard to punch through with compassion,” Bush said in the interview.

O’Donnell responded with asking if it is “an angry society” or if there are “certain leaders and people who’ve stoked that anger and fear.”

“I’m a big leadership guy. And so, therefore I think maybe the latter part of your question is true that people stoke anger in order to advance their apolitical agenda,” Bush told O’Donnell.

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He said his dad would talk about being kinder and gentler.

“He truly believed it. And I believed in unifier and not divider. And they can’t be empty slogans. You have to believe in it in order to be credible. I think that, yes, it’s going to require leadership to help heal wounds.”

The interview is planned to be released on the CBS Evening News on Tuesday and CBS This Morning on Wednesday.


Lauren Booker can be reached at lauren.booker@globe.com.