December 1st, 2008
01:33 PM ET
7 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. Franky

    To be fair, he actually has been very consistent with this, even through the campaign and afterwards. Of course not a lot of praise overall but I recall him praising our President for this.

    December 1, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. Meltdown

    This definitely puts Obama supporters in a quandary...


    December 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Texas Teacher

    Yes, graciously and well said, PE! I agree.... for once there is something for which we can praise Bush! Not easy reviewing the last eight years....

    December 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Chelsea

    It never ceases to amaze me how cordial Obama is despite his differences with people. He seems to have this ability to find something positive....even in those that are the most despicable people. I absolutely adore Obama..and can barely wait for him to take the wheel already..Come quick January 20th!!!

    December 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Texas Teacher

    If you believe in reincarnation as I and most Indigenous peoples do, look at Barack Obama in this picture. Tell me you cannot see the reflection of Pres. Abraham Lincoln in this man's countenance and eyes? I suspect that both he and JFK were and are from that same soul group. 🙂

    December 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. David S.

    Where does all this money come from considering we are broke??

    December 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Dan, TX

    It will be interesting to see how people manage to criticize Obama or Bush on this one.

    December 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Texas Teacher

    ...and Bush... all I can see is the images of the Christian Satan on his countenance.... no one is all bad... .not even the Lucifer.... the fallen Angel of God.... Interesting tales... yes? Food for thought.... 🙂

    December 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. Jackie in Dallas

    It's just too bad Bush's AIDS policy had little "easter eggs" such as restrictions on birth control tied in with it...

    December 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. down with the GOP.

    Let's see Obama overturn the Global Gag Rule and then I'll believe that he's going to do good work in Africa.

    December 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Michelle, PA

    File this under "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day". Can't stand Bush, but I agree you gotta give credit where credit is due.

    December 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. chico from Virginia

    Yes, that's all peaches and cream. But, I'm an American. I live in the CommonWealth of Virginia. What about HIV/AIDS here in MY country. The government, and I do not care who is running it, needs to do more. This issue is not going away, in fact it's growing. With all due respect to those suffering out in Africa, what about us?
    America First. America Foremost. I mean, it is OUR government right? It should work for us with all of the issues properly addressed before it even thinks about going out to help other people in other countries.
    Do I sound selfish? Do I sound a bit centrist? NO bud, I just love the country that I was birthed in and raised in. Let's take care of our own first. OUR own.

    December 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Mercy

    Give him a "D" for his efforts.

    December 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Janice Illinois

    That's all there is my friends, Let's keep dancing, let's bring out the booze and then!!!!

    December 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. PC from DC

    Let's hear it for Bush!! HOORAY!!

    December 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. Noah

    This is the only time you will hear a Democrat give Bush any credit for anything. Obama will get all of the credit for Iraq when he pulls our soliders out of their in 16 months. The disgustingly partisan media will make sure Bush does not get the credit he so richly deserves.

    December 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. Mickie

    That's the only thing he could think of to praise because he hasn't backed up any programs for his own country with funds except for the rich.

    December 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. kay

    out of 8years in power at list Bush did somthing thatthe world can say thank you too
    thank you president W.Bush

    December 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Too bad Reagan would never even mention the words "HIV" or "AIDS" in public for fear of angering the "Christians" who propped him up – we could have controlled this horrible disease years earlier!!!

    December 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. Houston

    Wait a second...did the media really report something positive about President Bush?

    What's going on?

    December 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Don

    Does it still forbid those participating in the program from discussing birth control and sex education with their patients? If so, then there is an immediate improvement that can be made to the program once Bush is gone.

    Giving money is fine. Putting ideological restrictions that continue the spread of the disease and allow for children to be born with it is abominable.

    December 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. silver bells

    thank you president obama, give credit where it is due, i agree with you.

    December 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Peter (CA)

    Spoke just like a President should.
    Hate all you want right wingers but an Obama presidency will reclaim the good will Bush thre away with his arrogance.

    December 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!

    December 1, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. chuck

    How could George Bush spend so much on Africa for Aids and so little help for the HURRICANE VICTIMS in his own back yard?He watched so many old people die during Hurricane Katrina although he was fore warned by the Hurricane centre about the strength of the storm and the weakness of the levees. This was just a show to the outer world but this guy has no praise to get because he watched Americans suffer while his rich friends prosper for eight long years. No Thanks to George Bush,No Praise for Bush.

    December 1, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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