'This Week' Transcript: George W. Bush, Laura Bush, Mohamed Tawfik

KARL: Well, I've got one that you care deeply about.

BUSH: Yeah?

KARL: You tried very hard to get comprehensive immigration reform through. How big a missed opportunity will it be if it fails this time around?

BUSH: I think it's very important to fix a broken system, to treat people with respect. And have confidence in our capacity to assimilate people. It's a very difficult bill to pass because there is a lot of moving parts, and the legislative process is -- can be ugly. And -- but it looks like they're making some progress.

KARL: Because that was one of your real frustrations, was not being able to pass that bill.

BUSH: Yeah. I understand sometimes you get legislation through that you want. I was also frustrated we didn't pass Social Security reform. I thought the plan I had laid out on both was reasonable. But sometimes it takes, it takes time for some of these complex issues to evolve. And looks like immigration, you know, has a chance to pass.

KARL: Is the party going to be really hurt if they let this die?

BUSH: Well, the reason to pass immigration reform is not to bolster a Republican Party, it's to fix a system that's broken. Good policy yields good politics, as far as I'm concerned.

KARL: Your former spokesperson said, when you look at what President Obama's done on counterterrorism, this is basically the fourth Bush term. Are you surprised that President Obama has kept in place so many of your counterterrorism programs? Including those he criticized as a candidate?

BUSH: I think the president got into the Oval Office and realized the dangers to the United States, and he's acted in a way that he thinks is necessary to protect the country. Protecting the country is the most important job of the presidency.

KARL: A couple quick things before we go. How's your father doing?

BUSH: He's great. Thank you. To have him by my side during the opening of my library was the most meaningful aspect of the day. I'm grateful that President Obama and Presidents Clinton and Carter were there, but it was awesome to have President 41 there. Really awesome.

KARL: What is his legacy?

BUSH: He is a decent, honorable man who served with great distinction. Legacy is ultimately decided with time. And so to ask a president, you know, legacy is like, you know, what are your dreams? Eventually history will sort it out. I have no desire nor did he, to kind of try to battle public -- in the court of public opinion to define something that may or may not be true over time.

KARL: And lastly I saw you dancing. I'm sure you saw this as well in Zambia?

LAURA BUSH: Yes I was in the back row laughing the entire time.

BUSH: Wait a minute!

KARL: So what is it? We saw President Obama dance. I mean, Bill Clinton famously danced on an Africa trip. What is it about this continent that makes presidents get up and dance?

BUSH: In this case, I was joyful. Full of joy. To be with women who were singing songs of praise. And getting ready to enter a clinic that we had just refurbished, knowing full well, I knew full well, they didn't, I did, that the care they would get would more than likely save their lives. And so it was a joyful moment and I got carried away by the spirit.

KARL: It was enjoyable.


KARL: It was good to watch.

BUSH: Whatever you do, don't show it on your show.

KARL: Oh no, believe me, we won't. President Bush, Mrs. Bush, thank you so much --

LAURA BUSH: Thanks, Jonathan.

KARL: For taking time to talk with us here in Tanzania.

BUSH: Jonathan, great to see you.

KARL: Thank you, good to see you.

BUSH: You bet.


KARL: Coming up, our powerhouse roundtable, ready to take on all the week's politics, including our own Cokie Roberts, who hosted a revealing conversation with Michelle Obama and Laura Bush in Tanzania, next.


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