George W. Bush sends a Christmas card with a targeted message while Trump is contesting the election

The card, which was obtained by CNN, features an image of Bush’s painting of the Statue of Liberty entitled “Beacon of Hope, 2020” and part of his new art collection honoring immigrants.

“May the light of the holidays shine bright in your heart now and throughout the new year,” reads the message of the card.

The painting and title come from a former president who has in the past expressed veiled criticism of Trump’s immigration policies and was one of the first Republican figures to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his election victory. Bush’s choice to place the Statue of Liberty at the center of his map is symbolic of his earlier criticism of Trump. The statue was often one of the first sights new immigrants to America would see as they entered New York Harbor and features a poem by Emma Lazarus famous for its phrase: ‘Give me your weary, your poor, your huddled crowd who longs breath free. “

The Christmas card of the only living former Republican president comes as Trump and his GOP allies continue to deny his election loss, even after the Electoral College confirmed Biden’s victory on Monday.

For weeks, the president has been spreading false allegations of widespread fraud, despite courts across all battlefield states rejecting the challenges of his campaign for the election.

But Bush quickly congratulated Biden last month, both in a phone call and in a statement saying that while Trump has the right to pursue legal challenges and recounts, the 2020 race was “fundamentally fair” and “the outcome is clear.”

“Although we have political differences, I know Joe Biden as a good man who has won his chance to lead and unite our country,” Bush had said. “The president-elect reiterated that while he ran for Democrat, he will rule for all Americans. I offered him the same as Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success and my promise to help in any way I can.”

Bush has largely remained out of politics since he left office in January 2009. He was only occasionally on the campaign trail in 2016, when his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, went up against Trump and others in the Republican presidential primaries.

Still, he regularly offered thinly disguised photos on Trump during his tenure.

In 2017, Bush delivered a speech in New York condemning bigotry and white supremacy, while endorsing policies that contradicted the policies supported by Trump.

“Our identity as a nation, unlike other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. … This means that people of every race, religion and ethnicity can be fully and equally American,” he said. comments to the George W. Bush Institute in New York City. “It means that bigotry and white supremacy, in whatever form, is blasphemy against the American faith.”

He added that “bigotry seems encouraged,” although he didn’t explain why.

CNN’s Eric Bradner contributed to this report.