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George W. Bush’s former press secretary chides Trump for mocking ‘thousand points of light’

George W. Bush’s former press secretary chides Trump for mocking ‘thousand points of light’
Former President George H.W. Bush arrives for an NFL football game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts in Houston on Nov. 5, 2017. (David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

President Trump drew a rebuke Thursday night from George W. Bush’s former White House press secretary after he mocked the “thousand points of light” volunteer effort of Bush’s father during a campaign-style rally in Montana.

“This is so uncalled for,” Ari Fleischer wrote on Twitter, using the acronym for the president of the United States. “Going after a 94-year-old, former President’s promotion of volunteerism. I don’t mind potus being a fighter. I do mind him being rude.”

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Trump took aim at the slogan used by the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, during a freewheeling speech Thursday in which he also joked about the #MeToo movement, renewed questions about the heritage of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and derided the intelligence of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles).

“And by the way, you know all of the rhetoric: ‘Thousands points of light.’ What the hell was that?” Trump asked his audience. “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 got that one. What the hell is that? Has anyone figured that out? It was put out by a Republican.”

In his inaugural speech in January 1989, George H.W. Bush promoted the virtues of volunteerism, saying: “I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the nation, doing good.” He used the “thousand points of light” phrase frequently after that.

Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, who died in April, created the Points of Light Foundation for volunteerism in 1990.

Wagner writes for the Washington Post.

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