May 22nd, 2009
01:23 PM ET
5 years ago

'Liberating feeling' to be out of office, says Bush

Former President George W. Bush told a high school audience Thursday that it's a 'liberating feeling' to no longer be president.
Former President George W. Bush told a high school audience Thursday that it's a 'liberating feeling' to no longer be president.

(CNN) - Yesterday - as his former vice president and his successor both gave major national security speeches in Washington, DC - former President Bush was nearly 1,900 miles away, telling a high school audience how "liberating" it felt to get some distance between himself and the burdens of governance.

"I no longer feel that great sense of responsibility that I had when I was in the Oval Office," he told listeners at New Mexico's Artesia High School, according to the Roswell Daily Record. "And frankly, it's a liberating feeling."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, famously reluctant to grant mainstream interviews while still in office, has become an outspoken presence on the airwaves in recent months. In Washington Thursday, he offered a vigorous defense of the Bush administration's policies on national security and interrogation of terror suspects - and criticism of President Obama's approach - at a conservative think-tank in downtown Washington, just minutes after the new commander-in-chief addressed the same issues in an address at the National Archives.

But Bush has been conspicuously silent on the president– and told prospective graduates Friday he was glad to be back to a lower-key existence, at a comfortable remove from the national spotlight.

Walking his dog Barney recently, "I realized this was the first time I'd been walking in a neighborhood for 14 years," he said. "It's not all that hard, by the way. You take one step, and then you take another.

...And there I was, former President of the United States of America, with a plastic bag on my hand. Life is returning back to normal."

Bush sounded just a few familiar, non-partisan policy notes, saying a soldier who had lost both legs because the president ordered him into battle had made his sacrifice for a "noble and necessary reason."

No video cameras were allowed into the president's speech. He has not granted any interviews since leaving office.


Filed under: George W. Bush
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Inspector Bob

    Crazy Michael Savage may be right, LIBERLISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER. I am a Liberal, and I am starting to feel sorry for, and exhibit compassion for this man. I need to see a Shrink.

    May 22, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Kevin in Ohio

    Thank you, President Bush, for keeping us safe, and for righting the indiscretions and platitudes of the Clinton years.

    May 22, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Jean McLain

    We're liberated to have him out of office. One of the worse president's in our history. I hope we never hear from him again. Jean

    May 22, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Linda Stewart

    Man, what hateful people. Gee, you must also all hate the soldier who couldn't wait to recover from his amputation and go to the White House and run with the President. The soldier didn't hate Bush, and he certainly could have had a reason to. I feel very sorry for haters of any stripe.

    May 22, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. CS in PA

    Guess 'W' is loving those reruns of 'The Beverly Hillbillies'!!!

    May 22, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Ted Tartaglia

    Bush has either gained some class or he does not want to be associated with his former vice-president's lunatic ravings. Perhaps Bush realized just how bad Cheney's disservice to the country was. In my opinion, Cheney should be tried for treason, convicted and then pay the penalty for treason. The world needs one less maniac.

    May 22, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Bob of Lompoc

    You know, that 2000 Election Felony Theft, it really came back to haunt you didn't it ? Kind of unfair. None of the Supremes are suffering. Just you. That's just wrong.

    May 22, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Kevin in Ohio

    For all the hate-mongering lefties here..... we will be sure to treat YOUR President with the same degree of respect, each and every day of his four years.

    May 22, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    A speech to a high school class?

    Boy, "W" sure is in demand, eh?!

    What's next, Sesame Street?!

    LOL!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. ANGIE IN PA

    Oh Bush we were Jumping for Joy On 1-20-09 8 Years of your Disasters Was long enough!

    May 22, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. Tom

    You feel liberated!

    Imagine how we the people feel now that we are no longer under the dark clould of the bush regiem

    May 22, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. JDM

    Just a thought?
    1. How many times do you leave a job and go back to tell the new person that got your hired what they should do?
    2. What would the boss say to you? "Get security and remove him or her"

    We hired OB and GW retired to private life. Why are we spending time with the old VP unless he was really running the WH and he is trying to protect what he did!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Chimpy McChimpface strikes again...

    May 22, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. LacrosseMom (CNN please post)

    Bush......... it has been a real pleasure for you & the GOPers to be thrown out of Office. THANK YOU........ AMERICA!

    Now, will Congress have the cajones to indict Bus & DICK for war crimes?!

    May 22, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. ~~ July ~~

    Kevin in Ohio May 22nd, 2009 3:08 pm ET

    For all the hate-mongering lefties here….. we will be sure to treat YOUR President with the same degree of respect, each and every day of his four years.
    _________________________________________

    Won't expected any other way Kevin. Bring it on! ;op

    May 22, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Daisy Cloud-NY

    its sounds crazy listening to these people thanking this ex-Prez, who spend his 8yrs lying to this country. Continue having a wonderul vacation.

    May 22, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. ~~ July ~~

    I will say this about Bush ...... never did like him, always felt bad for him and hated hated his laugh ..... but I will say this .... Thank you for staying away from the cameras.

    May 22, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Jeff in Virginia

    For once, i agree with W.

    It is most sincerely liberating to know that George W. Bush is no longer our president.

    May 22, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. elliott

    An awesome American. A great man.

    May 22, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. wakeupamerica

    Mr. Bush, I bet you do feel liberated of responsibility because you certainly did not take any while in office. Otherwise, you wouldn't have left the country in the mess you did. I feel liberated that you no longer hold the office and that we finally have a Commander in Chief in President Obama who has an interest in caring about the needs of the American people.

    May 22, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. ANONYMOUS

    George is as stupid as Sara Palin. the high school is the only place that will allow him to speak. He is a slimy person who deserves no respect.

    May 22, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Jon in CA

    If EVER any evidence was needed to prove BDS still infects the veins of looney liberals.... all that is needed is to post a picture of President Bush at CNN.

    LOOK at the hate on this site!!

    LOL... and you're completely clueless to the fact that you ARE what you project.

    May 22, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Fed Up

    With Bush, a least everyone knew he was an idiot. Americans haven't yet figured out how dangerous Obama's transformation of our freedoms really are – and just how much your children are going to lose in economic and individual freedom.

    May 22, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. nicasia

    repugs govern with FEAR.

    May 22, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. MEL IN florida

    Don't worry we feeling very liberated from Bush and Dick.

    May 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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