Bush 43: I Want Obama to Succeed, Won’t Criticize Him

By Dschabner

Mar 17, 2009 10:27pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: Today in Calgary, Alberta, former President George W. Bush said he would refrain from criticizing the Obama administration and that he wants President Obama to succeed. “I’m not going to spend my time criticising him. There’s plenty of critics in the arena. I think it’s time for the ex-president to tap dance off the stage and let the current president have a go at solving the world’s problems,” the former president said in remarks to business executives. “He deserves my silence. And if he wants my help, he can pick up the phone.” Bush’s comments follow scathing remarks from his former vice president, Dick Cheney, in an interview on CNN Sunday. Cheney said President Obama is making critical national security choices that make the American people less safe.  The speech today was Bush’s first since leaving office in January. The event was organized by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and his remarks to business executives were closed to the press and the tickets were invitation only. The former president said he wants President Obama to succeed. “I love my country a lot more than I love politics. I think it is essential that he be helped in the office.” Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh touched off a firestorm when he said earlier this year that he hoped Obama would fail, forcing Republicans on Capitol Hill to publicly say they did not share that view. ‘The Decider’ Tells All? Former President Bush, who in 2006 designated himself "The Decider," said his book on his presidency will focus on his 12 hardest decisions and his goal is to try to put the reader into the mindset of how those decisions were made. “I want to put people in my place on that, when the history of this administration is written at least there is an authoritative voice saying exactly what happened,” he said. Bush cited the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as an example. “I want people to understand what it was like to sit in the Oval Office and have them come in and say we have captured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, this mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, the alleged killer of a guy named Danny Pearl because he was simply Jewish, and we think he has information on further attacks on the United States,” he said. “I want to draw people in to that environment and let them determine what they would have done if their most important job was to protect the country.” Former President Bush briefly mentioned AIG and said he agreed with the “angst” in Washington. “AIG, which is now in the news, granting big bonuses, in spite of the fact that they’ve taken a big chunk of taxpayer money, which I agree with the angst being expressed in Washington on this matter.” — Karen Travers

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