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. SHIRLEY SDL

    Ms Bush you really can't have it both ways. You either think he is right or he is wrong. I personally think Cheney along with Rove ran the WH, and together they manipulated and used your husband, for the most part, to do their evil and wrongful deeds. That, however, does not excuse your husband for not knowing that he was not smart enough for the highest office in the country. we should all be aware of our limitations after a certain age. Jeb would have probably been better in that role, as he appears to be brighter . Cheney and Rove both probably always wanted to be POTUS, but knew they never could get elected. Look into their eyes and you will see souless, heartless, and mean-spirited men there. Perhaps Cheney's heart was removed during one of his surgeries, and he was left with just pure evil to survive?

    June 8, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. owes President Obama his silence on issues

    not to mention Cheney is evil as well

    I think that is dignified of 'W', but I have also heard former presidents speak and they offer another insight... I appreciate it when they voice their oppinion

    Cheney however should shut his yapper

    June 8, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Common Sense 09

    Who really cares what the Former 1st Lady has to say in her defense of Former Vice Pres. Cheney.....because that monster will have his day!!!

    June 8, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. nom deplume, esq.

    No longer content to let historians write history, both sides now see even historical context as a battleground.

    We are in total war. The vituperative left won't let up, and the right won't back down. I don't see any hope for real discourse on this or other issues until there has been some serious clashes of left and right. Both sides talk about fighing to take back the country. Both sides may just get their wish, and the next fight won't be with ballots, but something with a really similar spelling.

    June 8, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Chef Jeff

    Although I did not care for George Bush as president he has shown remarkable and decent character by keeping his silence. Time has moved on, and so has the nation. Dick Cheney should remain silent.

    June 8, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Rob in CA.

    who cares what this know-nothing, do-nothing, annoying woman has to say. Cheney is just trying to cover his own butt. Thank God these sociopaths are out of office and God Bless the Obamas!

    June 8, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. bsmith171

    go to the library.
    nobody wants to hear from you.

    except maybe the low IQ types employed by ABC!

    June 8, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Independent

    I agree with Laura:
    As a former vice president, Dick owes a duty of loyalty to his commander in chief. There's no reason for Dick to second guess every decisions that Obama makes. Dick had his chance now he needs give Obama a chance to solve problems without sabotaging every move Obama makes.
    Cheney / Gingrich 2012

    June 8, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Terry from Texas

    Cheney certainly has the right to comment all he wants to. However, Cheney's judgment is as bad as ever. His comments are motivated, I suspect, by Cheney's fear that the Bush Administration and he will not be treated kindly by history.

    He is hoping to challenge the argument that he and Bush led the nation into a disastrous, unnecessary war, that thousands of American soldiers died for no reason, that NOT ONE of the nation's real problems were solved, and that the administration was characterized by a general lack of brains and judgment.

    I'm afraid that the time for Cheney to rehabilitate his reputation is in the past. Cheney and Bush made a mess of things.

    June 8, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Jim

    Don't be idiotic. Cheney's defending torture because, as a chief proponent of the inhumane and unAmerican policy, he desperately wants to avoid possible criminal prosecution. To believe otherwise is naive and foolish.

    June 8, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. HelenD, Quincy, MA

    You might not like former president Bush but you have to give him credit for the way he is conducting himself now - with class.

    June 8, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Sniffit

    We understand too Laura...it's not freekin rocket science. I'd be blabbering all over the airwaves too if they'd let me, particularly if I was afraid of being prosecuted for war crimes, etc., and I felt I had a chance of completely muddying the waters by disseminating fabrications and further nonsense.

    June 8, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. abby0802

    I understand why Cheney's speaking out better than L. Bush does - he's trying to build his defense before he goes on trial at the Hague (hopefully). Laura's husband better start coming up with his "rationale" for the violation of international law and the Geneva Convention.....

    June 8, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. Keefe

    First of all, I have much respect for the former first lady and her daughters for that matter...

    Her husband George W, I feel is a WAR CRIMINAL and damaged our image world wide...

    I wish they would've asked Mrs. Bush how she felt about Dick Cheney stating he would rather have Rush Limbaugh instead of Colin Powell representing the Republicans....

    June 8, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. Dave

    Laura, you look like a clown. Almost as bad as Hillary.

    June 8, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. RONNIE

    I wish Cheney and his moronic daughter would slink away with shame to never be heard from again! They add nothing to the world.

    June 8, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Pat, CA

    CNN - where's your coverage of THIS:

    CONSERVATIVES SCORE WINS IN EU PARLIAMENT VOTING
    Monday, June 08, 2009
    BRUSSELS — Center-right parties hailed European Parliament election victories as a continent-wide vote for conservative approaches to the economic crisis and pledged Monday to forge ahead.

    June 8, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. mark

    Bush/Cheney are in no position to critize the new administration's policies since they are the cause of the big mess we're in. They have basically bankrupt this country and now they get to draw pensions off of the taxpayers. Everyone knows Bush ran every company in the ground he ever managed including the United States. Well, now he can drink and snort all he wants. By the way, who would pay Bush to speak is beyond my craziest dreams. I would not let him speak at my child's preschool. He needs to take classes on speaking correctly. Apparently he only got into havard because of his dad.

    June 8, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. KMAN

    Could anyone's opinion be worth less than hers? Hard to respect anyone who would marry lil' george .

    June 8, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. FreeNLovIt - Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed (1SPMI) of the gospel, for it is (3SPAI) the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (PAPMSD), to the Jew first & also to the Greek

    Go away!! We need jobs!!!!! Go Green energy!!! jobs jobs jobss.. we are starrving out here... Is this the same America Iknow? Can we talk about how we are growing jobs? Real jobs? What Obie doesnt understand is that it's good to fund school but the real jobs need to be out there to fund teachers.... grenn jobs.. grteenn.. greeen..

    June 8, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    Go away!! We need jobs!!!!! Go Green energy!!! jobs jobs jobss.. we are starrving out here... Is this the same America Iknow? Can we talk about how we are growing jobs? Real jobs? What Obie doesnt understand is that it's good to fund school but the real jobs need to be out there to fund teachers.... grenn jobs.. grteenn.. greeen..

    Green... green...

    June 8, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Jim in San Jose 2

    Mrs. Bush, you truly were the best part of your husband's administration. Always classy, always representing the US in the best possible light. I admire how you conducted, and continue to conduct, yourself, and while I may not agree with your husband's politics, I will never call into question your values. My thanks and admiration for your devotion to the country and to your husband.

    June 8, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  23. hjs3

    Wow! That was informative.....

    June 8, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. Too True For You

    Laura Bush has always been the class of the Bush administration.

    June 8, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. quarterback

    He's speaking out so he can attempt to rewrite history and avoid prison. Outing a CIA agent during time of war is treason and punishable by execution.

    June 8, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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