Bush Bashing, Parental Advice and November Politics

Bush: Well, when I'm working with President Clinton on relief, and, uh, reconstruction, yes. You feel good. America's reaching out and helping. One of the joys I got was when the Marines went down into, I think it was Sri Lanka. And there was a lotta worry about American military, we don't want 'em in there. The guys left their rifles back on the ship, went in there, reconstructed the villages, and left, and that did a lot for American image in that part of the world. People are saying, "my God, these people are here to help us." And it was beautiful. And so I--I think at times, we can take a situation that's grievous, and tough, and show America's flag, and help people. And ironically, you know, all this hatred of America, I think people from those countries still wanna come here. You go down to the consulates and the lines are long. People wanted to get visas to come to the United States so if we were so detested, why do people still wanna come to the United States.

Gibson: Much has been commented on about the political odd couple of you working with President Clinton, but was there ever a time when you were in the midst of all that you've done with him that you turned and thought, what in the world am I doing, working with this guy?

Bush: [LAUGHS] Probably. But except, you know, he beat me. But before that, we were friends, he had the Democratic side of the Governors'--National Governors' Initiative that I took as President, and, he did a good job on it and I respected that. And even when we were -- the elbows got sharp and stuff, there wasn't -- I never felt a personal animosity about it. So it was very easy to come together to work for something far bigger than him and far bigger than … I. And that's helping people. And I think it sent a good sign. I think it sent a good sign across the country, that you don't -- because you run against somebody doesn't make you an enemy. And I know it sent a good sign abroad. I had more people in travels abroad tell me, "this is wonderful what you're doing with President Clinton, it couldn't happen in our country but it's wonderful that you do this in America." Gibson: Do you stay off politics?

Bush: With him?

Gibson: Yeah.

Bush: Yeah, very much so.

Gibson: I was asking you earlier what rankles you, in terms of criticisms of your son. He's not bashful at times about criticizing the President.

Bush: No, but the way I look at it it could be worse. [LAUGHTER] And I think he likes the President, I mean I don't wanna put words in his mouth, if you talk to him later, why, I think he, he likes him. And they have differences. But, hey … he's shown great respect I think for me because of my age for one thing, and I think he knows I love my son, without any reservation and support him without any reservation. So he's not about to try to convince me or sell me something, and I'm not about to try to convince him about Hillary. So, the world goes on.

Gibson: How would you convince him about Hillary?

Bush: Well she's a candidate who has different views from the President and, and, does not hesitate to express them.

Gibson: Do you think she's gonna run?

Bush: [PAUSE] I've felt so up till now but I'm not positive, but I don't get anything from him on that … I don't know why I have this feeling maybe she won't but, if I had to bet my last buck on it I'd say she would.

Gibson: She would run.

Bush: Mm-hmm.

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