March 18th, 2009
05:46 PM ET
9 years ago

Bush, Cheney strike different post-White House tones

 Bush and Cheney have struck different tones since exiting the White House.

Bush and Cheney have struck different tones since exiting the White House.

(CNN) - Their public positions seemed largely in harmony for eight years, but George Bush and Dick Cheney are striking markedly different tones in their initial months away from the White House.

While the former vice president has been highly critical of the new administration - most recently in an interview with CNN's John King - the president has refrained from disparaging his successor, and is mostly ducking the national spotlight altogether.

Watch: Cheney tout Bush administration accomplishments

Tuesday night, in his first appearance of any kind in more than eight weeks, Bush told a friendly audience in Calgary, Alberta it would not be productive to criticize President Obama right now, saying the new commander-in-chief "deserves my silence."

"I'm not going to spend my time criticizing him. There are plenty of critics in the arena," the former president told the audience, according to the Associated Press.

The president also told the invitation-only crowd a policy of isolationism and anti-free trade is not the path out of the current economic turmoil.

"It's the risk-takers, not the government, that is going to pull us out of this recession," the former president said, according to the Calgary Herald. "My message to policy-makrs is don't substitute government for the marketplace. Don't become protectionist. I'm a free-trader to the core."

But overall, the president's demeanor in front of a friendly crowd was described as jovial.

"This is my maiden voyage," he said in his debut address on the speaking circuit. "I can't think of a better place to give it than Calgary, Canada."

Bush's first public appearance comes three days after his former No. 2 appeared on CNN's State of The Union, holding little back in sharply criticizing President Obama's national security polices and declaring the country has been made less safe.

Cheney, who still maintains an office in the outskirts of Washington, DC, has also publicly aired grievances with his former boss - specifically Bush's decision not to issue a pardon to former Cheney aide Scooter Libby.

"I believe firmly that Scooter was unjustly accused and prosecuted and deserved a pardon, and the president disagreed with that," he told CNN Sunday.

Filed under: President Bush • President Obama
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Baze

    I don't care about either one of these guys. They're done, that's it, MOVE ON!

    March 18, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Sue

    I can't think of a better place for you than cowboy Calgary either. Had you tried to sneak into Canada anywhere else, you'd have probably been arrested on suspicion of war crimes. Keep joking all the way to court, sir.

    March 18, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. obama-mama

    All I can say is George Bush is 100% more of a professional than Dick Change Me.Cheyney..See how that bat was stuck on the space shuttle. That should have been Cheyney....

    March 18, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Todd

    Good for you, Mr. President.

    Bush understands what Obammy is going through – and it will only get worse for Barrack before it's all said and done. Obammy spent time bashing Bush in his speeches, etc, to get elected. Now that he's there, I bet he wishes that he had not completely burned down that bridge!

    March 18, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. Jason

    The only "Tone" I want to hear from them is
    " I swear to tell the truth
    the whole truth
    and nothing but the truth
    So help me God"
    In a court of law

    March 18, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. EVIL Man

    I've long thought that George Bush was just not the sharpest tack in the box.

    However Dick Cheney is simply EVIL.

    One is worse than the other.

    March 18, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    They're both dillusional if they think their legacy is a good one. The Bush Administration will go down as the Bush Dictatorship.

    March 18, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Jackie in Dallas

    Wow. A position of former President Bush I can AGREE with! Without Cheney as an albatross around his neck, we may be getting to see the Bush we knew as Governor in Texas - one that wasn't too smart, and not too responsible, but not one that was just downright evil! For all that I voted against him in both national elections (as well as the election for Governor), I just didn't understand the good-ole boy condoning torture and the erosion of our Bill of Rights. But after Cheney's interview, and Bush's restrained response in Canada, I think we can clearly see who was really making the decisions!

    March 18, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Conan

    Bill could learn a thing or two from Bush senior and junior on this matter.....

    March 18, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. gbrown2

    Bush's comment about not making any comments about Pres. Obama was the SMARTEST thing he has done in 8 years!!! Dick Cheney, you are a CRIMINAL who she be in jail right now!!! Dumb and Dumber!!!! It's because of people like BUSH/cheney that we are in this horrific state right now!!!!

    March 18, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Norm

    Too bad the Teleprompter in Chief doesn't show the same respect towards Mr. Bush.

    March 18, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. Staunch Democrat

    How can former President Bush make criticisms of the current President in good faith, knowingly allowing Cheney's policies and the audacity to call for Scooter Libby's pardon has caused his legacy such harm.

    Yes. Silence is golden.

    March 18, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Chris from NY

    And he went to the highest oil producing city in Canada to do this. Go figure.

    March 18, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Edna, PA

    Once again he has to have an invitation only crowd because the Secret Service has to know in advance who is coming to see him. Why? He is the 7th worst president in our history for torturing people and butchering the Constitution.

    He did not listen to his father when George Bush told him not to run for the presidency. He won, and the country lost–big time. We will have to deal with years of the dismantleling of our country because of this man. He was inept and incompetent and stupid, now we will have to pay for that.

    March 18, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Darlene

    This shows what kind of true statesman that President Bush is!

    March 18, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. sensi johnson

    Let Bush stay in the "Bush".

    March 18, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Kyle W

    What? I don't see any comments yet of Dems bashing Bush who all jumped on this "The last 8 Years" band wagon?

    March 18, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. big suprise Cheney is an @ss

    and 'W' took too many drugs

    March 18, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. The Broker.

    Immigration Building on Fire in London England. Don't you wish your was. All them lost Records.

    March 18, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. TerryT

    Who cares what they think now?

    I didn't care what Clintion or Carter thought of the last pres I don't care what this former pres thinks of this president.

    I do think the respect President Bush is showing President Obama is in start contrast to the tone taken by President Obama.

    President Bush is treating President Obama with the respect a former president should show.

    I wish President Obama could find it in his heart to return the favor but the fact that President Obama take every opportunity to blame President Bush for every problem that exists in this world I will be waiting a long long time.

    March 18, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. Tino (Madison, WI)

    "...saying the new commander-in-chief "deserves my silence.""

    Wow... that's the first time I've EVER agreed with Dubya!

    March 18, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Claudia

    Sure he's a fre trader.....with other peoples money! He'd sell the Brooklyn Bridge and call it free trading. He's the same mindset as the creeps who brought us all these woes. He sees the world as a "sucker born every minute". Sadly, we're te suckers.

    March 18, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. fred

    Bush is a good him or not as a president, he's a good guy at heart.

    March 18, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Fitz in Texas

    Oh, the posting on this story should be good. Hmmmmmmm,wonder if all the Bush haters will have something somewhat nice to say.

    March 18, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. Eileen

    Well Dick, that's why he was president and you weren't...although in your mind you were. You caused enough trouble when you were in office, nobody could do anything right except you. Well that train has left the station and it's time for you to bid farewell. We all know we're better off without you.

    Kudos to Mr. Bush.....he knows how long it takes to get things together and running.

    March 18, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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