Former president George W Bush has refused to comment on same-sex marriage, saying he did not want to weigh in on ‘those issues’.
Speaking to CBS This Morning, the ‘misunderestimated’ president from 2001 to 2009 was asked about his one-time support for a constitutional amendment banning equal marriage.
‘Yeah, well, I’m not, I’m not weighing in on those issues, as you know, because I’ve made the decision to get off the stage,’ Bush replied. ‘And so I’m off the stage.’
Bush has come out to speak to the media to promote the opening of his presidential library in Dallas today (24 April).
Despite saying he would not comment on controversial topics, he said Barack Obama’s governance was leading to a ‘hopelessness’ that would allow ‘extremists to exploit’.
He said he hoped his presidential library will be ‘helping to spread freedom as a way to marginalize the radicals’.
Bush’s successor Obama was the first sitting president in US history to back marriage equality, starting the trend of several high-profile politicians to announce their support.
In 2004, Bush endorsed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. He said: ‘The union of a man and a woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith.
‘Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society.’