June 8th, 2009
04:38 PM ET
5 years ago

Laura Bush: I understand why Cheney's speaking out

Former first lady Laura Bush said she knew why Cheney is speaking out -- and why her husband isn't.
Former first lady Laura Bush said she knew why Cheney is speaking out - and why her husband isn't.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former first lady Laura Bush said Monday she knows why former Vice President Dick Cheney feels the need to attack President Obama's policies, and publicly defend his own administration's legacy.

But she explained why her husband, former President George Bush, has not given any public interviews or commented critically on the new administration since leaving office in January.

"I think that's [Cheney's] right as a citizen of the U.S., and I think he also feels obligated, and so I understand why he wants to speak out," Laura Bush said in an interview on ABC's Good Morning America broadcast Monday. "On the other hand, George feels like as a former president that he owes President Obama his silence on issues, and that there's no reason to second guess any decisions that he makes."

President Bush has given few public addresses, and no one-on-one interviews, since Obama's inauguration.

Bush sounded a positive note over at least one of Obama's decisions: his pick of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve on the Supreme Court, calling her "a very interesting and good nominee."

"As a woman, I'm proud that there might be another woman on the court," she said. "So we'll see what happens, but I wish her well."

The former first lady said that she and her husband have discussed the civil war over the Republican Party's future, but downplayed the intra-party conflict.

"It's like creative tension within a party for people to talk about... how they want to be represented," she said.


Filed under: Laura Bush
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Pee Wee

    Dear CNN,

    The Bushes have acted with dignity during Obama's presidency. I implore you to please reserve for moderation all of the sophomoric comments that your bloggers will post. It does nothing to further any kind of thoughtful discussion to have line after line of name calling that has no substance.

    Of course, you'll probably moderate me out and post every ad hominem attack spewing forth. I'm getting ready for another 300+ comment ticker item where perhaps 50 are warranted.

    Have a great day.

    June 8, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. vegage

    So sad she got married to that horrible person responsible for thousands of lives lost in Iraq.

    June 8, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Angie in Pa

    So do we to Save his Legacy to Brain wash People into thinking his Torture was the right thing to do

    June 8, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Conservative Independent

    No matter if you like the former President or not, he does have one classy wife.

    June 8, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Tomas E

    For 8 years, Cheney would hardly say a word to the press and now all of the sudden he has diarrhea of the mouth. Explain that one, Laura!

    June 8, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Missy

    Translation: Cheney is on his own. He is an idiot and we don't know why he's going off on the president like this.

    Thanks for staying classy Laura.

    June 8, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Craig

    She is probably one of the best females to ever be First Lady. She is a very respectful person. Good luck to her and her future.

    June 8, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. IntotoJournalism

    I think Bush has the right idea by staying out of the spotlight when it comes to President Obama's decisions. He's made enough mistakes already during his presidency alone.

    June 8, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Rose

    We hear more from Cheney now than we ever have during his years as Vice President!!!!

    June 8, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. JO

    Why in the world is what the Stepford wife thinks news?

    June 8, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Mark

    Remaining silent is the classiest move Bush 43 has made after a disasterous tenure in the White House.

    Cheney, on the other hand, reminds me of the line from one of Ron White's comedy routines: "I had the right to remain silent but I didn't have the ability."

    June 8, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Matt

    The Bush's were true class acts and Americans.

    It is so sad that the president we have now cannot hold a candle to George W. Bush.

    June 8, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Robin in SC

    I always thought Laura had way too much class for W...keeping his mouth shut and opinions to himself is the only good thing he's done for this country.

    June 8, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. FRANK, Las Vegas

    We all know why Cheney is speaking out, he's trying not to end up facing a War Crimes trail. However, Cheney's new undisclosed location will be prison.

    June 8, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Tiffany

    What a classy and gracious former first lady. I like her better than the fomer President.

    June 8, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Namaste

    I really am not AT ALL, nor was I EVER, fond of George Bush. That said, I do have to offer him all due respect for not bad-mouthing President Obama. George Bush may not have been the best president we ever had (and that's surely an understatement) BUT he has good manners. I am not from Texas, but I lived there for a while, and George Bush is showing the best of what I recollect as being good Texas manners (which he must have picked up from his wife; isn't she the one who is a genuine native?). In any case, George Bush deserves praise for having some common decency and respect.

    June 8, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. Foreign observer

    It is amazing to watch the former first lady having at least ten times more intellect than Cheney !

    June 8, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. SR

    Laura, I think I know why Cheney's speaking out too: To try to keep him and your husband from facing the war crimes trials they more than have coming.

    June 8, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Hopeful Optimist

    The Bushes (forty one and forty three) represent what we as a country can be when we neglect to be vigilant in our duties as citizens. In both cases we let down our guard to the corrupting influence of people with an agenda of personal gain and wealth. And I don't necessarily mean the Bushes. I mean those who used them and their inherent weaknesses as a vehicle to wield power and influence in places which would ordinarily be unavailable to their ilk. People such as the very wallflower and nondescript likes of Rove, Cheney, Rumsfield - you know, men who, in their own right, would never inspire trust, confidence and leadership. These were genuinely flawed people who would probably be failures if left to their own (de)merits.

    June 8, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. J.Crobuzon

    Who cares what SHE thinks? Shouldn't she be baking cookies or something?

    June 8, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Linda

    GWB was our least intelligent prez to date and showed it with all his very poor decisions for America.

    June 8, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. Doug, New Jersey

    Yes there is inner fighting in the republican party and liberals don't understand it at all. See, on the right people are individuals with their own beliefs and views, different from the left where everyone marches along to their pre-defined...well hate and attacks (libs really only believe in selfishness, lies and hate), it is awfully similiar in America today to National Socialists who were in power in the past.

    Cheney loves this nation and its people. He doesn't want to see hundreds of thousands dead Americans, he doesn't want us to lose our rights and freedoms, he feels an obligation to stand up to the National Socialists.

    Bush as former president is showing something that is void in the hearts and minds of every Democrat in America, its called respect. Obama doesn't deserve it but Bush is a very moral person who will show respect for the office no matter who occupies it. Now a lib will respond to this with regurgitated lie ridden Bush bashing, probably falsehoods about Iraq or Katrina via Moore-on.org.

    June 8, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. Jeff Brown

    The Stepford Wife can speak?

    June 8, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. J

    So do we... to try and keep himself out of prison.

    Too bad we have politicians instead of statesmen or he and many others would already be in prison.

    ACCOUNTABILITY is not a bad thing!

    June 8, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. mmg

    That is what is called RESPECT!!!!! something Obama needs to learn, instead he likes to blame.....STILL!!!!

    June 8, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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