Elton John has come to the defense of Ellen Degeneres after she was attacked by leftists for sitting next to former President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game and defended her friendship with the former president.
“I admire Ellen for standing up and saying what she said,” John told NPR.
When Degeneres received backlash on social media for a picture of her sitting with Bush, Degeneres stood her ground even though “people were upset.”
“Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have,” DeGeneres said. “We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different … but just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them.
“When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. Doesn’t matter.”
John stood up for DeGeneres, agreeing with her message to be kind and respect one another.
“George Bush has made a lot of mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes. Ellen DeGeneres has made a lot of mistakes. People need to come together … They need to respect people’s view on life. Except when it’s heresy, and I don’t think George Bush is that kind of guy,” the musician said.
Although John didn’t delve too much into American politics — NPR reported that he said England has enough of its own problems — he gave insight into a specific humanitarian program that Bush and President Donald Trump have kept running.
“[The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief] came from the Republicans. People have to remember that,” John said.
He also said that it was, “the most incredible thing a Republican president has done on a philanthropic level.”
PEPFAR is an emergency plan enacted by former President Bush that has saved over 17 million lives and provided over $80 billion in funding for HIV/AIDs research and treatment since 2003, according to People.
John spoke on President Trump briefly, explaining that while he might not agree with many of his policies, he respects him for keeping PEPFAR in place.
John added that it’s okay to be friends with someone you don’t agree with.
“Unfortunately, what our democracy has become now is that it’s not OK to have different opinions than yours and that is not healthy,” John told Fox News.
After the Degeneres controversy, and her public acknowledgment and defense of the former president, Bush’s spokesman, Freddy Ford spoke with Fox News about Degenere’s comments.
“President and Mrs. Bush really enjoyed being with Ellen and [her wife] Portia [de Rossi] and appreciated Ellen’s comments about respecting one another. They respect her,” Ford said.
Even with their livelihood under attack by the scrutiny of the left and the media at large, Bush, Degeneres and John have given a valuable message to people everywhere.
As John said, “People need to come together.”
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