Jenna Bush Hager, like her parents and grandparents before her, has remained largely silent in voicing any criticism about Donald Trump in the years since the former Celebrity Apprentice host was elected president.
But the 36-year-old Today correspondent made a jab at Trump on Friday, a day after he criticized her grandfather, former President George H. W. Bush.
Trump was at his rally in Great Fall, Montana on Thursday where he made a swipe at his fellow Republican president, who served one term in office from 1989-1993.
The object of Trump’s mockery? “A Thousand Points of Light” — a phrase Bush coined during his 1988 presidential campaign to highlight the importance of community volunteer organizations that “spread like stars” through America.
“You know all of the rhetoric you see… ‘Thousands Points of Light.’ What the hell was that by the way?” Trump asked, CNN reported. “‘Thousand Points of Light.’ What does that mean? I know one thing: ‘Make America Great Again’ we understand. Putting America first we understand. ‘Thousand Points of Light,’ I never quite got that one. What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out? It was put out by a Republican, wasn’t it?”
Hager responded hours later by tweeting out a quote from a letter her grandfather, now 94, wrote in 1997 about kindness.
“You ask about The Pursuit of Happiness at a good time in my life,” Bush wrote. “I have pursued life itself over many years now and with varying degrees of happiness. Some of my happiness still comes form trying to be in my own small way a true ‘point of light.’ I believe I was right when I said, as President, there can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others. SO I do that now, and I gain happiness. I do not seek a Pulitzer Prize. I do not want press attention. I don’t crave sitting at the head table or winning one of the many coveted awards Offered by the many organizations across the land. I have found happiness. I no longer pursue it, for it is mine.”
In her tweet, she also explained why her grandfather meant by the phrase.
“‘Point of Light ‘was a vision about serving others, one that lit up our country,” she wrote. “One I hope our country hasn’t lost.”
In 1990, Bush’s phrase would later inspire the creation of Points of Light Foundation — a nonprofit organization that mobilizes millions of people each year to participate in volunteer work.
“With these words, nearly 3 decades ago, our founder President @GeorgeHWBush ignited a spirit of volunteerism and inspired millions to be points of light in communities around the world,” they tweeted on Friday, quoting the 41st president. “We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose other than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a thousand points of light … we all have something to give.”
Hager’s defense of her grandfather comes weeks after her mother, Laura Bush, also spoke out about Trump — knocking his since-reversed “zero-tolerance” policy of separating migrant children from their families at the U.S. border.
In an opinion piece for the Washington Post that was published on Father’s Day, the former first lady addressed the issue.
“I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” she wrote.
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“Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war,” she wrote. “We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We pride ourselves on acceptance. If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.”
She continued, “People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer. I moved away from Washington almost a decade ago, but I know there are good people at all levels of government who can do better to fix this.”