(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.
How ingnorantly arogant of him!!!
This may be the only thing GWB has said or done that I respect him for...too little too late...but appreciated.
maybe if you had used your own judgement more and less of cheney, we might be better off today.
Obama deserves Bush's silence and Bush deserves to go to jail, along with his henchman Cheney. That's the next thing I want to read on CNN.
Yea, if the risk takers got us into the mess, why can't they get us out? Bush said Obama deserves his silence, so do the rest of us. Can we please put this ugly chapter of our nation's history behind us and not ever hear about George W. Bush again? Please?
this comment is for if President Obama has "taken on too much". He absolutely has, and you know why? He is letting people's expectations get to him; instead of him just doing his job the way he knows how. People think they are God or something. It is not your right to say who is supposed to be President or not. We have lost sight that it is God's will that ALL things be done, everything that happens in life is relevant. Also, I am sick of people talking about Blacks and welfare. It is not just blacks that are on welfare! You are all hypocrits, because if you lose your job today you will turn to the government for help. YOur tax dollars contributed to that, you deserve a little help, you paid for it! White people just dont like the fact that they opposed it so much now they have to reap it! So what get over yourself, if its being handed out why not take it.
Who does this man think he is fooling? As if he even knows what he is talking about in the first place.
Kudos to dubya.
Bush should be relieved someone is cleaning up his mess. If I were him id go far far away
Nice job, Pres Bush. Unfortunately, Pres Obama often feels the need to criticize and blame you. I wish Pres Obama would spend more time working and less time talking.
After the mess you have left this country in, of course he would say President Obama deserves his silence. And besides what else can he say when he is hoping and praying that his administration does not pursue prosecuting the last administration for war crimes among many other things. This is a no brainer!
This is the most sensible utterance coming from Bush. Cheney needs to be quiet unless he is offering constructive criticism. If the nation is more at risk of terrorism it must be because he has free time to go hunting and missing his mark.
WOOAAAHHH GEORGIEEE, shouldnt you be clearing brush on your ranch?? Although you have made history mr bush, your words dont mean jack to me!
If anyone complains about what Bush said they're a moron who doesn't think rationally. But I guarantee that there will be the traditional Bush bashers out there.
Georgie knows very well that his butt is in the President's hands particularly as he visits other nations which could hold and prosecute him for war crimes, thus the President is his savior at present and he dares not antagonize his saviour. Georgie knows very well that he is on thin ice around the world since they will do more than simply throw shoes!!!
CANADA – Obama won't get this guy, WHY WAS HE NOT ARRESTED FOR IS WAR CRIMES!?
It was a perfect opportunity...
History will judge George W. Bush as a better president than recognized in his time.
Bush doesnt need to worry. The liberal media isnt going to hold Bama responsible for anything he does or the campaign promises he doesnt do.
It just shows that Cheney was the real president and Bush the puppet. How sad that Cheney hasn't shot himself yet while hunting. But there is always next time.
He seems to be doing much better as a regular citizen. Although I am very glad he is out of office, I wish him the best.
Even though he talked so much smack about you and your administration during his campaign?
Regardless of "W" being one of the worst social and economical president, I will like to say this on his behalf, America needed a president with the kind of thick skin tha Mr. Bush showed. We may disagree with the human rights violations that his adm. took part in....America was not sitting around awaiting another Sept. 11. To that end I would love to thank President Bush for being a stand up guy. Just reading his approach to the new administration and the fact that he is not involving his self with the name calling and useless criticism of the new president...he chooses to be stand up and withhold criticisms. Man, he is really a stand up guy! Thank you "W" for the thick skin.....may god bless you!!
Former Pres. Bush is doing what Presidents should do .... keep their opinions about the current POTUS to themselves.
I just wish someone would have told former Presidents Clinton & Carter that during Pres. Bush's time in office. It seemed as though it became a weekly thing for one or the other to bash Bush on one decision or another during his 8 yrs in office. Clinton & Carter are entitled to their opinions ... but they should have kept them to themselves.
But as with most Dems/Liberals .... it's do as I say, NOT as I do.