July 5th, 2008
09:46 AM ET
6 years ago

Bush, G-8 face urgent issues at Japan meeting

President Bush holds a press conference before leaving for Europe last month.
President Bush holds a press conference before leaving for Europe last month.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush heads to Japan for his final G-8 summit of world leaders on Saturday, as the global economy slumps, energy prices soar and food shortages loom in the developing world.

Bush says he will press other leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations to follow through on their commitments from earlier summits, but has warned there is nothing he or anyone else can do in the short term about oil prices.

"It took us awhile to get into the energy situation we're in and it's going to take us awhile to get out of it," he said Wednesday in an appearance at the Rose Garden to preview his trip.

He continued to advocate more drilling in currently protected areas of the U.S. as a medium-term fix for skyrocketing fuel costs.

"Ultimately, of course, we're going to transition away from hydrocarbon. But we're now just in a transitional period and we need more oil to be able to do so," he said.

Bush's main economic goal at the summit may be defensive, said David Gergen, former adviser to presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton.

"What's essential in this summit for George W. Bush is to make sure the world economy does not spin downward," he said.

Yet Bush is not raising expectations about what he and the other G-8 leaders can realistically accomplish on the economic front. "One thing we need to make clear when I'm with our partners is that we're not going to become protectionists; that we believe in free trade and open markets," he said Wednesday.

A former administration official who served on the National Security Council under Bush says the G-8's purpose is not to come up with quick solutions.

"This is not a meeting of heads of state that leads to a treaty. It's really kind of public opinion shaping and trying to get people to agree that issues are important," said Michael Green, now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

At the summit, Bush, mindful of his legacy, also plans to press G-8 countries to keep their past financial commitments of aid to the developing world.

"G-8 countries have made pledges to help developing nations address challenges, from health care to education to corruption. Now we need to show the world that the G-8 can be accountable for its promises and deliver results," he said Wednesday.

Still, even as he presses other nations to write checks to back up their pledges, Bush is having trouble persuading U.S. lawmakers to do the same.

Congress has not yet authorized funding to continue the president's emergency plan for HIV/AIDS relief, a program that supplies HIV medicine to roughly 1.5 million people worldwide and is widely considered a foreign policy success for the Bush administration.

Bush arrives in Japan on Sunday, his 62nd birthday, and will meet Japan's prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda.

In addition to meeting among themselves, the G-8 leaders will be joined Monday by leaders from seven African countries: Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Senegal.

On Wednesday they will meet the leaders of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.

Bush will have bilateral meetings with South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak and China's President Hu Jintao on Wednesday, in preparation for his visits to their countries next month.


Filed under: G-8 • President Bush
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. A SONGBIRD SANG IN VIETNAM

    Limp quack limp quack limp quack.

    Who cares what this man says.

    July 5, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Levar HUSSIEN Patterson

    I really wish that right now... it was Obama going to the G-* summit. I would feel a whole lot more comfortable and safer!

    OBAMA/CLINTON 08

    July 5, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. David Newport, OR

    What they should be talking about is unlinking the US Dollar from the oil market and selling it based on a currency that is alot more stable. Here is how it works people. Oil is sold in US Dollars. That currency is falling in value against just about every other World currency. Everytime it falls a little more, the price of oil MUST increase in value. This is a direct result of the economic policies of the present administration. The rest of the World needs to take back control because the US is no longer a World leader.

    July 5, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz

    BUSH ATTENDING AN ECONOMIC SUMMIT IS LIKE

    AUDITIONING A 400 LB. MAN FOR THE LEAD

    IN SWAN LAKE. HE DIDN'T KNOW THE PRICE OF

    GAS IN HIS OWN COUNTRY. MAN IS CLUELESS &

    DEVOID OF ANY CONCERN FOR U.S. OR THE WORLD.

    July 5, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. David Goldman

    IF IT'S AN ECONOMIC SUMMIT, WHAT'S BUSH DOING THERE??

    MAYBE THE OTHER 7 MEMBERS WILL FILL HIM IN ON THE

    $5.50 PER GALLON, PRICE OF GAS HERE.

    July 5, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Shane

    BUSH AND HIS CRONIES ARE WAR CRIMINALS. HE IS THE WORST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE NEEDS TO ROT IN H***

    July 5, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. CITIZENS FOR AMERICA FIRST

    WE ARE SURE THE OTHER NATIONS ARE GLAD TO

    HEAR HIS COUNCIL AFTER ALL HE HAS DONE

    SUCH AN AMAZING JOB AT HOME.

    July 5, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Raymond Duke

    Bush is right on the drilling. Bush and the G8 are wrong on nation building and trying to save a bunch of third world countrys who just wait for us to feed them. They were surviving before we started that handout and now look what it has done. Made people in them countrys lazy and not taking any responsibilty for their actions. It is also time for the american people to get rid of all these corporate slave masters that we got and teach them a lesson by just taking one month, picking out any company and punish it buy not buying any good they make outside of the united states are import. I guarrantee you that if the american people did that corporations and politicians would fall in line. They may not care for the american people but they sure love that wealth.People in america you don't have to have everything to survive one month but a corporation has to for it to exist.

    July 5, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Carmen

    "It took us awhile to get into the energy situation we're in and it's going to take us awhile to get out of it"

    It's unbelievable how unaware he is. Stupidity or hypocrisy? Probably a mix of the two.

    Thankfully we've only got until January to deal with this idiot, shame we've got to deal with the messes he'll leave behind for far longer.

    July 5, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Travis (in the real world

    I wonder if a president has ever been "heckled" during a G8 meeting?

    I'm sure George could and WILL BE the first.

    July 5, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. Montana is Obama Country

    62 hmmmm. can you collect Social Security at 62..???

    Oh yeah, forget it.. He is an oil man and is making money hand over fist...

    July 5, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. saga4obama

    Bill Clinton Got Head? Bush is a war criminal...impeach? how about indite.

    July 5, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. saga4obama

    BUSH should be going to Japan to seek Political Asylum...he sure wont be able to show his face in the US once the truth cames out...and the truth will come to light W, both you and Dick should be packing your bags...

    July 5, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Gary Chandler in Canada

    With all of the G8 countries in one place, it SHOULD be a matter of priority for World Security to discuss the McCain’s plan to boot Russia out, and bar China. We could all hear how, “Has he lost his bearings?” sounds in 5 different languages.
    Of course he can flop flip but dangerous ideas like his should be dealt with!
    ----–
    He is running for President of the most powerful country on Earth. His ‘plans’ for a new cold war should be vetted now, not next year!–
    ---
    This is a very important, hidden, ISSUE.

    July 5, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Crush Rush

    Forbid the thought of taking care of Americans first when its the World they want to take over and control.We cant even control poison foods coming in like tomatoes.More lies,more smoke and mirrors.

    July 5, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Franky

    Ohhh yeah, right!! Tomorrow is the Presidents B-day! You think his wish has come true??? To be honest, I thought it did 4+ years ago but it may seem like he may wish for another one...

    By the way guys, what is up with Congress??? Are they waiting for a present or something?? Are they waiting for my boy or what??? Tell them don't get me started now...

    July 5, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. mitchell hussein martin

    i hope the other leaders of the G8 have bush arrested for war crimes.our own government doesnt have the cajones.

    July 5, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. jimmy velman

    PREZ GEORGE W. NEEDS TO TELL THE G-8 MEETING AND THE POWERS THAT BE. AND OPEC IN PARTICULAR, THAT THEIR
    HOLDING OFF PRODUCTION OF MORE OIL TO EAS THE GLOBAL CRISES AND THE FOOD SHORTAGES AFFECTING THE WORLD ARE THE CATALYSTS FOR WAR,AND THE POSSIBLE REPERCUSSIONS ON THEIR MONOPOLISTIC AND OLIGARCHIC
    GOVERNMENTS. WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST BEGINNING WITH IRAN AND SYRIA WILL SPELL THE END OF THE RULING
    ARAB FAMILIES CONTROLLING THOSE COUNTRIES AND THE WORLDS OIL SUPPLY. WAR IS INEVITABLE . IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME .

    July 5, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. skunkrat The Marine

    It would be nice if George Bush had some creditability. It's truly a sad day when most World Leaders consider Bush to be a flawed character with criminal tendencies.

    July 5, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. Gene

    I am so sorry. But, I really don't want to hear anymore of Bush's rhetoric or "whatever".

    July 5, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. MD

    Oh, please keep the idiot chained to a radiator or something in the White House until January 20. Hasn't he done enough damage already?

    July 5, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Grey beard

    The downward cycle has a purpose,and that is to MONOPOLIZE and crush the little guy,including small Businessmen.This gas crisis did NOT happen by chance,it was planned people, to make the rich richer and you and I much poorer.

    July 5, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |