Mr. Bush, speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, said he didn’t criticize former President Barack Obama during his eight years in office, and he doesn’t plan to chide Mr. Trump, either.
Still, he said, the only time he gets attention is when he criticizes one of his successors. And he didn’t shy away from sharing opinions Wednesday, including saying the U.S. has left a vacuum in the last four years by retreating from the world stage — though he insisted it wasn’t meant to be a criticism of Mr. Obama.
“I don’t really mean it to be. There is a lesson, however, when the United States decides not to take the lead and withdraw,” he said.
Mr. Obama left office saying he would feel compelled to step in and criticize Mr. Trump on issues dear to his heart. Mr. Bush said he prefers a different approach.