Former president George W. Bush said that the death of Eric Garner during an arrest in New York and the ensuing grand-jury decision were "sad" and that his former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice helped him understand the issue.

Bush said he had not delved into why a grand jury declined Wednesday to indict a police officer for Garner’s death in July, which touched off last week's widespread protests, “but it’s sad that race continues to play such a, you know, a kind of emotional, divisive part of life.”

Bush made his comments during an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.”

The former president also said that the protests came up during a recent dinner with Rice, who is black.

“And she said, 'You’ve just got to understand, there’s just a lot of black folks around who are incredibly — more and more — distrusting of law enforcement,'” Bush said. “Which is a shame because law enforcement’s job is to protect everybody.”

He also talked about Hillary Clinton, saying she would be a formidable 2016 presidential candidate, and noted that his brother Jeb Bush is formidable, too. He said he didn’t know whether his brother would run for president.

“I have no clue where his head is now,” the former president said.