December 1st, 2008
01:33 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama again praises Bush's AIDS relief efforts

 Obama met with Bush at the White House last month.
Obama met with Bush at the White House last month.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President-Elect Barack Obama offered praise for at least one aspect of President Bush’s foreign policy Monday, during videotaped remarks to the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health hosted by Pastor Rick Warren.

“I salute President Bush for his leadership in crafting a plan for AIDS relief in Africa and backing it up with funding dedicated to saving lives and preventing the spread of the disease,” Obama said. “...My administration will continue this critical work to address the crisis around the world.”

The taped message was part of a forum marking the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day.

Under the Bush administration, more than two million people suffering from HIV/AIDS – most living in Africa - have received life-saving antiretroviral treatment as part of PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief. In July, the President signed legislation reauthorizing the program and authorizing up to $48 billion to expand it.

Obama has long praised Bush for the program. "I actually think that the PEPFAR program is one of the success stories of his administration," Obama said in response to a question about the role of faith in fighting HIV/AIDS during an April forum at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. The faith forum, co-sponsored by CNN, was held shortly before the Pennsylvania primary. "My view is, is that we should use whatever the best approaches are, the scientifically sound approaches are, to reduce this devastating disease all across the world,” he said.

Obama’s nominee for Secretary of State, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, said at the same event she wanted to “commend” Bush for the program, which she called “bold” and “important.”

soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Phil-Little Rock

    That's about the only thing he did in 8 years that showed he had some semblance of a heart.

    December 1, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Vy, California

    Sure, becaue they took AIDS to Africa in the first place

    December 1, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Debbie

    Bush's AIDS relief is about the ONLY thing he did right in his administration.

    Maybe this good deed just fell through the cracks.

    December 1, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Tulsa

    ???????
    What? No responses here? Don't know what to do when someone is respectful and honest?

    Myabe we could all learn a thing or two from the next President.

    December 1, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Jessica Grimes

    where are all the libs bashing President Bush here???

    Idiots.

    Regardless of the liberal talking heads... our President has done good things for our country and this world.

    Time will show the true measure of his accomplishments.

    Take Care!
    Proud Republican Social Worker!

    December 1, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Gerda Edwards

    This report must have come from The Onion. After all, I've learned from the hateful left that Bush has not done anything well.

    December 1, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Laverne

    Obama is a smart man!

    December 1, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Spencer/NY to VA

    One thing GWB can be proud of.

    December 1, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    That's all fine and dandy, but last time I checked, Bush was the President of the United States, not Africa. I am pretty certain that critically ill people in the U.S., whether victims of AIDS, cancer, etc., could use $48 billion is a lot of money that could better be put to use here, in America.

    December 1, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Cammi317

    In that respect, Bush's action is typical of the Republicans in the past...more interested in foreign policy than domestic. Whereas Democrats has been more interested in domestic than foreign. We need to find an equal balance, which I believe that we will in Obama's administration. Bush can walk away knowing he made a positive difference in 1 place during his administration. The rest was a royal muck up.

    December 1, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. Greed is not good

    That's ALL Bush did favorably. Now he blames "bad intelligence" for Iraq? Please...

    December 1, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Geoff K

    AIDS is the 4th leading cause of death around the entire world and it has hit the hardest in southern Africa. In some countries the life expected has plummeted into the 30s because of HIV/AIDS. In other words, in some African countries a child who is born today can expect to be dead by the time they are forty years old because of AIDS! This is not right.

    Although there are a lot of things I don't like about George Bush this program has saved a LOT of lives. If this money was spent in the US it couldn't go as far as it has in Africa. Good on Obama for pledging to continue this!

    December 1, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Scott NYC Independent

    President 44 I'm sure its hard to find something to be complimentary about regarding president 43 (notice the lower case) but maybe we could avoid discussing him for the next 30-40 days, at least in public

    December 1, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Ian

    I'm sure the sick and dying in the U.S. are pleased as well.

    December 1, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. R Dub

    I'm pretty sure people ill in the U.S. have far greater outlets for support and treatment compared to people in Africa. And if Bush tried to put that money to use in America to provide free drugs, you'd probably call it socialism or something equally foolish. $48 billion out of a trillion dollar budget isn't much in the long run, especially when it makes some part of the world better.

    December 1, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. Blue is my favourite colour

    Well, I guess Bush felt he had to do something positive before he gets flushed out of the white house onto the dirt pile of Crawford.

    Too little too late, and yes, as G.R.I.T.S. mentioned above, that money could have been put to better use by ailing Americans, or families below the poverty line who are struggling here in the U.S.

    December 1, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  17. Arriane, FL

    I praise anyone who helps Africa, even Geoge Bush.

    December 1, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    One aspect I respect about Obama is that he is willing to give credit where credit is due. I respect a generous soul rather than the shriveled up, hate filled people we saw in the past 8 years and in the campaign.

    December 1, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. Banjo

    Great post with lots of impoarntt stuff.

    June 24, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
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