(CNN) – In his most critical comments to date of the Obama administration's policies, former President George Bush Wednesday warned against the nationalization of healthcare, government overreach in the country's financial system, and the potential effects of closing the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
"I know it's going to be the private sector that leads this country out of the current economic times we're in," the former president said during a speech to business leaders in Erie, Pennsylvania, according to the Washington Times. "You can spend your money better than the government can spend your money."
"Government does not create wealth. The major role for the government is to create an environment where people take risks to expand the job rate in the United States," he also said in the closed-door speech, according to the paper.
During the remarks — one of Bush’s first in the United States since leaving the White House - the former president commented on a wide-range of issues currently confronting the Obama administration, including the new president's push for universal healthcare.
"There are a lot of ways to remedy the situation without nationalizing health care," Bush said. "I worry about encouraging the government to replace the private sector when it comes to providing insurance for health care."
Asked directly if he thought his successor was embracing "socialist" polices, Bush stopped short of weighing in one way or the other, instead saying: "We'll see."
In a vigorous defense of his own national security policies, the president appeared to take issue with the new administration's early decision to close the detention center in Guantanamo Bay and ban the use of aggressive interrogation techniques.
"I told you I'm not going to criticize my successor," he said, according to the paper. "I'll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don't believe that persuasion isn't going to work. Therapy isn't going to cause terrorists to change their mind."
Bush, in contrast to former Vice President Dick Cheney, has largely remained silent on the new administration's decision to prohibit the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. But during his speech Wednesday the former president insisted he used "every technique and tool within the law to bring terrorists to justice before they strike again."
Bush also appeared to take a broad swipe at the tone of American politics in general, noting that partisan vitriol dates back to the founding fathers when Vice President Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton.
"At least when my vice president shot somebody, it was an accident," Bush said.
This guy was never able to think out of the box.
He is absolutely right on everything he said.
Bush has so much more class than any of the liberals running our country. So what if he couldn't deliver a speech with the swagger that Obama does when reading a teleprompter. I would rather have him as President over the teleprompter.
You liberals are in for a rude awakening in 2010.
Why should the grinning baboon who drove our economy over the cliff have anything relevant to say about his successor's attempts to fix the mess?
Government is also responsible to creates an environment where private industry can't run roughshod over the citizens of this country!
The health care insurance industry here in the US is no better than the Wall St. guru's who are directly responsible for our current financial mess. Wall St. and CEO's are in it for themselves – always have been!
This Man Has NOTHING To Say That Is Worth Listening TO.....GO BACK YOUR HOLE
"There are lots of remedy the situation without nationalizing health care"...he had eight years...if it was so easy, why didn't do it???
President Obama doesn't want to nationalize health care...he wants a public option...big difference.
"...I don't believe persuasion isn't going to work." So he agrees that persuasion will??
Just shut up.You had your chance Mr.war criminal and look where we are now.It was your failed fiscal policy that ran the bus into the ditch.
If George Bush is against something, that is a strong sign that it is a beautiful thing. Why doesn't he crawl back under his rock and groove with the other worms?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? this guy dares to open his mouth still after what he did?!
Bush is right.
Obama is wrong.
We would already be on our way to recovery if it weren't for all the tampering Obama has done.
Obama is too busy taking advantage of his self induced crisis that he doesn't care that America, as we know it, is being destroyed.
In fact, that is exactly what he wants.
The lefty's worried about Bush taking advantage of the fear in America after 9/11.
Obama is 10 times worse than Bush ever was.
Thank you for speaking out, President Bush. Since you left the White House I don't feel safe anymore - Obama is a complete JOKE!
Enough is enough with Obama. The tyrants around world feared Bush (that's right FEARED!) and now they laugh at Obama - the Obama administration (excluding Hillary) have no idea what they're doing in Washington, and they also have a shady background.
Frankly, I am sick of Obama's flowery and naive speeches.
don't know why W would hammer Obozo's policies...................Obozo has adopted most of W's policies.............ah yes, "change we can believe in".................1 and gone
Thanks to Mr.Bush, the support for health care will go UP!!!!
Please this is the guy when he took office was handed a surplus from President Clinton. This is also the same President who launched a war of choice in Iraq. This is the same President that expanded goverment too.
Please lets turn the pasge with President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
I don’t even know where to begin……..
Suddenly Bush 43 is making sense!
Go away. nobody wants your 2 cents on anything after the disaster of your presidency. I liked you better when u were at crawford clearing sagebrush and keeping your mouth Shut. you are no longer the decider ( proof that there is a God) deal with it.
Yes , yes , there were so many ways to " remedy " the health care system that you and the Repubs did absolutely nothing. Talk is cheap , I guess it's time to meet up with Cheney , eh Mr President.
Although I do not agree with Pres. Bush, may I say he looks the Best I have ever seen him look.. This JOB must be awful. God help you, Pres. Obama
bush should crawl back in his hole.
After leaving this country in a deep HOLE I don't know if he is in a situation that he can criticize anybody...he better go back under the rock !!!
Dumbo and Dick decided to do a tag team maneuver on us. Dick finally starts to shut up and now Dumbo's talking.
George, you need to remember a simple fact. You are the worse president this country has ever had. Just stay out of the way and enjoy your fond memories of all the people you've killed.
You are one sick puppy, bro.
Thats it for the GOP!!!! If you didnt beleive it before this idiot has solidifyed they are in the desert forever. This man is irrelevant! No words, ignorant
The Bush – Cheney nightmare continues, trying to rewrite history any and every chance they get. Also trying to stay out of prison for War Crimes. A better solution, let the War Crime trials begin.