This July, former President George W. Bush will be given one of this country’s greatest honors, a permanent place on Mount Rushmore. The newly created sculpture of the former President will stand alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. While the inclusion of Bush on the famous monument would be expected to stir criticism and protest, the decision has gone mostly unnoticed by the mainstream media. According to the National Park Service, the proposal to add Bush was buried in a 482-page Senate appropriations bill. Nobody noticed the rider until the bill was approved and construction had already begun. The provision, written by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (FL) a.k.a. the “Crown Prince” of the Tea Party, described the former President as “the greatest in the last 100 years”.
Since news of the Bush addition to Mount Rushmore broke, Rubio and other Republicans have rushed to defend the decision. During a CNN interview, Rubio stated, “George W. Bush, in my opinion, did a fantastic job as president.” In a recent speech on the economic recovery, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie agreed, “Mr. President [Bush], thank you for setting that example, thank you for inspiring a whole new generation of conservative Republican leaders who you helped create,”
recent Sunday, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (WI) sat down with ABC correspondent Katie Couric to discuss the Bush Legacy and the Mount Rushmore honor:
“It is only with perspective can we truly evaluate the actions of a President. Bush himself said, ‘I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.’ Reagan left office, many believed he did a horrible job. Now, he is remembered as one of this country’s greats. George W. Bush took office on the precipice of some of the worse times in our country’s history: 9/11, the Great Recession, bubbles bursting, foreclosures, natural disasters, failing banks and businesses. Most Presidents only have to deal with one or two major issues, President Bush had to deal with dozens of issues, most of which were a direct result of the Clinton era. It took time, but now we see that his courageous policies got us through those tough times and we are seeing the results: more jobs, a stronger economy, and better foreign relations. These results are not due to the current President. These are the results of President George W. Bush. He will be remembered as one of the greatest President’s in American history and I could not be more excited to see his face on Mount Rushmore.”
With construction already underway, there seems little that can be done. The President who once said,"I'm going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there's an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened” seems to have had his wish granted.