Politics 2017: Five Living Former Presidents Unite to Raise Money

The five living former U.S. presidents appeared together on Saturday at a concert to raise money for victims of the devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Republicans George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush gathered onstage in College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, putting aside politics to try to unite the country after the storms.
Texas A&M is home to the presidential library of the elder Bush. At 93, he has Parkinson’s disease and appeared in a wheelchair at the event. His wife, Barbara, and George W. Bush’s wife, Laura Bush, were in the audience.

The concert featured the country-music band Alabama, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sam Moore, gospel legend Yolanda Adams and Texas musicians Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.

Earlier on Saturday, President Donald Trump recorded a video greeting that avoided his past criticism of the former presidents and called them “some of America’s finest public servants.” “This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and devotion to one another,” Trump said in the message.

The last time the five were together was in 2013, when Obama was still in office, at the dedication of George W. Bush’s presidential library in Dallas.

There is precedent for former presidents joining forces for post-disaster fundraising. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton raised money together after the 2004 South Asia tsunami and after Hurricane Katrina the next year. Clinton and George W. Bush combined to seek donations after Haiti’s 2011 earthquake.

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