Bush slams bigotry, white supremacy, current state of politics

(WMC / CNN) - Former President George W. Bush took a strong stance against division in the United States, specifically citing bigotry, white supremacy, and bullying.

Bush was in New York on Thursday morning speaking at the George W. Bush Institute.

"Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry and compromises the moral education of children," he said, adding later, "bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed."

The former president also criticized the current political climate for opposing globalization and being susceptible to conspiracy theories and lies.

"We cannot wish globalization away, any more than we could wish away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution," Bush said.

Bush also said that "bigotry seems emboldened" at this time in our history, although he did not specify why he thought bigotry was now emboldened.

"Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication," Bush said.

Despite many of the themes of Bush's speech running counter to the policies and actions of President Donald Trump, a Bush spokesman told NBC News that the former president was not criticizing Trump.

"These are the same themes President Bush has spoken on for the last two decades," said the spokesman, Freddy Ford.

In the past, Bush said he did not vote for Trump. He said he left the presidential section of his 2016 ballot blank.

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