To critics who say that he’s building women’s clinics in Africa in an attempt to rehabilitate his legacy, President George W. Bush said “let them babble.”
“I’m trying to think of the proper word,” Bush told ABC News in an interview aired Sunday. “Absurd psycho-babble.”
The president and former first lady Laura Bush have been in Zambia working on establishing screening programs for cervical cancer. “They have been saved from HIV through antiretroviral drugs, yet they’re dying of cervical cancer. We think it’s needless, and we’re trying to do something about it,” Bush said.
The president was asked about what he told a Zambian journalist when asked whether gay marriage is compatible with Christian values: “I shouldn’t be taking a speck out of somebody else’s eye when I have a log in my own,” he told the journalist.
Bush told ABC he “meant that I’m not going to answer the question then and I’m not going to answer it now in terms of the political question about whether or not, I just don’t want to weigh back in the debate. I’m out of politics.”
“But I meant it’s very important for people not to be overly critical of someone else until you’ve examined your own heart,” he added.
ABC pressed Bush on whether he’s “evolved” on same-sex marriage.
“I’m not going to weigh back into those kinds of issues. I’m out of politics. The only way I can really make news is either criticize the president, which I don’t want to do, criticize my own party, or weigh in on a controversial issue. And I’m off the stage,” the president said. “Unless I’m promoting something I strongly believe in, and I believe that what we’re doing in Africa is incredibly important. And will continue to do so, so long as I’m ambulatory.”
On the immigration reform bill, Bush said “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,” he continued.
“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.”