Former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton joked about their friendship despite differences and offered insights into the presidency at a leadership summit in Dallas Thursday.
Bush said their friendship began when Clinton beat his father in 1992 and refused “to lord his victory over dad. Dad was willing to rise above the political contest. Both men displayed strong character. Why do I have a friendship with him? Well, he's called a brother with a different mother."
"In other words, he was humble in victory, which is very important in dealing with other people," Bush explained.
On a more serious note, the former presidents both touched on the current divisive political climate.
"One of the things wrong with America is we have separated ourselves in like-minded communities," Clinton said. "We don't want to be around with people who disagree with us typically. And we get news in silos. Diverse groups make better decisions then homogenous ones."
Clinton says this division leads to a stagnant political environment.
"We all vote for the gridlock we say we hate," he said.
"I think it's really important to know what you don't know and listen to people who do know what you don't know," Bush said.
Bush called humility a key attribute for any president saying, "the decisions you make have a monumental effect on people.”
“Presidency is often defined by the unexpected. It makes the job interesting," he added.
Clinton said that those "who are real arrogant in office" forgot that history will judge them.
"If you want to be President, realize it's about the people, not about you," Clinton said. "You want to be able to say, 'People were better off when I quit.' ... You don't want to say 'God, look at all the people I beat.'"
He said presidential candidates need to ask themselves, "but why in the heck are you running?"
Clinton went on to compliment Bush on his immigration stance saying, "I told George once a year or so ago, I said I hope you're not the last Republican president who's not afraid of immigrants."
The two also joked about being grandfathers. Bush said his grandchildren call him "jefe," which is Spanish for "chief" or “boss.”
"The best thing that can happen to you when you are in politics is to be consistently underestimated," Clinton reflected.
"I was pretty good at that," Bush responded.
The former presidents seemed to enjoy the evening of jokes and reflection. Neither explicitly mentioned President Trump.
Clinton had a good time before the event posing outside the George W. Bush Library.
President Clinton at the George W. Bush Library tonight. pic.twitter.com/YcgCBoN3Ys— Yashar Ali (@yashar) July 14, 2017