Former President George W. Bush, when asked in an interview on CNN whether he wanted to criticize the Obama administration, brushed it off as something that wouldn’t do “any good.”
The president and former First Lady Laura Bush have been on a humanitarian mission in Zambia during Obama’s three-nation swing through Africa.
Bush reflected on former South African President Nelson Mandela, who has been in deteriorating condition in the hospital for four weeks now.
“Sometimes there are leaders who come and go. His legacy will last for a long time,” Bush said.
When the CNN reporter noted that Mandela criticized Bush publicly for the Iraq war, Bush made clear there are no hard feelings.
“He wasn’t the only guy. It’s OK. I didn’t look at him any differently because he didn’t agree with me on an issue,” the former president said.
When asked if NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a traitor, Bush replied, “I know he damaged the country. The Obama administration will deal with it.”
“I put the program in place to protect the country and one of the certainties is civil liberties were guaranteed,” he continued. “I think there needs to be a balance and as the president described, there is a proper balance.”
When pressed to criticize his successor, he said, “It doesn’t do any good. It’s a hard job. He has plenty on his agenda and it’s difficult. Former president doesn’t need to make it harder.”
When asked about polls showing his favorability rating, which has risen since he left office, Bush said he “couldn’t care less.”
“Only time I really cared was on Election Day. You know, I guess it’s nice. Let me rephrase that. Thank you for bringing it up,” he added. “You know, ultimately history will judge the decisions that I made. And I won’t be around because it’s going to take a while for the objective historians to show up. So I’m pretty comfortable with it. I did what I did. I know the spirit this much I did it.”