Sometimes I miss President Bush

Posted by: ST on May 29, 2009 at 9:41 am

Check out this CNN article on a domestic speech he made yesterday in which he defended EITs:

BENTON HARBOR, Michigan (CNN) – Former President George W. Bush on Thursday repeated Dick Cheney’s assertion that their enhanced interrogation program was legal and garnered valuable information that prevented future terrorist attacks.

In his largest domestic speech since leaving the White House in January, Bush told an audience in southwestern Michigan that after the September 11 attacks, “I vowed to take whatever steps that were necessary to protect you.”

Although he did not specifically allude to the high-profile debate over President Obama’s decision to halt the use harsh interrogation techniques, and without referencing Cheney by name, Bush spoke in broad strokes about how he proceeded after the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in March 2003.

“The first thing you do is ask, what’s legal?” he said. “What do the lawyers say is possible? I made the decision, within the law, to get information so I can say to myself, ‘I’ve done what it takes to do my duty to protect the American people.’ I can tell you that the information we got saved lives.”

But Bush avoided the sharp tone favored by his former vice president in recent weeks, and went out of his way to stress that he does not want to disparage the new president.

“Nothing I am saying is meant to criticize my successor,” Bush said. “There are plenty of people who have weighed in. Trust me, having seen it firsthand. I didn’t like it when a former president criticized me, so therefore I am not going to criticize my successor. I wish him all the best.”

The former president was speaking to nearly 2,500 members the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan. The format of the speech was changed at the last minute when Bush decided to answer questions directly from the audience members, instead of responding to pre-submitted questions provided to a moderator.

Bush repeated his disclaimer about not passing judgment Obama later in the speech when asked about North Korea’s test of a nuclear weapon. Before answering, the 43rd president said that he is “in no way trying to shape my successor’s decisions or criticize them.”

“I know there are news people here, and they love conflict,” he said.

On the topic of how to respond to North Korea, Bush said diplomacy is impossible without leverage.

“A lot of times people want to give out the carrots,” he said. “My attitude is, you give out the carrots when the behavior changes.”

Yeah, I know he could irritate conservatives sometimes, and he didn’t always make the best decisions, but on the measures he took to keep our country safe – the most important job of any President, Bush was right on. And he continues to be.

Thanks, Mr. Prez.

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9 Responses to “Sometimes I miss President Bush”


  1. Ted says:

    The thing that leaps out from that article, and what permeated his entire presidency, is the class and respect he has for the office. He is incredibly entitled to exact his revenge on his 8 years of abuse by everyone on the left by ripping into the O, but he won’t. He’s not that kind of man.

    I cannot imagine how hard it must be to be him – having been called every single name in the book, had his character and family’s name assassinated almost daily in the MSM, treated so poorly around the world – and still be a calm, respectful, generous man.

    I disagreed with many things he did, especially not fighting back enough or trumpeting his accomplishments more, but as I got to know him better after he was elected and especially after 9/11 I learned to really like and admire George W. Bush, and I am very proud to have called him President. I miss him too.

  2. NC Cop says:

    Well said, Ted, you hit the nail on the head. Bush wasn’t perfect, but he did what the thought was right for everyone involved. What he received in return was ridicule, scorn, and hatred.

    I have no doubt that, years from now, history will be far kinder to GW then it will be to our media and their behavior over the last few years.

    Thanks again, W!!

  3. arcman says:

    Notice how he decided to “take answers directly from the audience, rather than responding to pre-submitted questions.” Gee, and I thought President Bush was stupid. At least he can answer questions without having to pre-plan it like our Dear Leader. Thank you Mr. President. You might have made some errors and frustrated me at times, but I will give you respect, that I truthfully can’t give Obama at this time.

  4. Harold Sanders says:

    He is a very honest, straight shootter. In later years the population will well understand.

  5. Carlos says:

    Pretty much spot on, except for the statement “…but on the measures he took to keep our country safe…”

    Not to get picky or anything, but for a “leader” to open the borders like he did without enforcing immigration laws (except perfuntorily) I can’t give him a pass on that one. The economic mess we are in right now can in large part be attributed to the gazillions of wasted taxpayer dollars spent on protecting and enhancing the invaders instead of performing the functions our government is supposed to do (like oversee banking and mortgage procedures).

  6. Carol says:

    I miss him, too.

  7. Dave in W-S says:

    Amen, Sister!

    GW brought dignity and honor to the office of the President. He maintained it well for 8 years, under heavy fire from his political enemies, and departed with grace.

    As the Germans would say, “Das ist ein Mensch!” (Trans.: “Now there is a real man!”)

  8. DaveinPhoenix says:

    Classy, mature adult vs. self-centered thin skinned childish brat. At least I was proud of America then….God Bless, George.

  9. Brontefan says:

    Has there ever been a Prez who has been on camera as frequently as this one? I know he considers himself a superstar but finding OB merchandising everywhere you go, and his annoying personal symbol [the US Presidential emblem was not good enough for this anti-American Prez] on fences, bumpers, etc. is beyond belief. If he is always on display, on camera, or on the Internet—who’s running the country???