(CNN) - Former President George W. Bush made his debut as a motivational speaker Monday night, telling a Fort Worth, Texas crowd it's futile to waste energy chasing popularity.
"It's so simple in life to chase popularity, but popularity is fleeting, it's not real," Bush said at a "Get Motivated!" business seminar, a multi-city event its organizers describe as an "energizing, action-packed, star-studded, fun-filled, spectacular stage show."
The president himself saw wild popularity swings during his eight years in the White House, garnering nearly a 90 percent approval rating in the months following the attacks on September 11, 2001 and exiting office with only the support of 31 percent of Americans, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll.
The former president was greeted enthusiastically by the 11,000 attendees of the event, according to the Fort Worth Telegram, and he spoke casually for about 20 minutes.
Event organizers declined to disclose how much the former president was compensated for the appearance, though former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received $100,000 for a similar speech at the event two years ago.
Bush, who has made few public appearances or statements since leaving office nine months ago, also took the opportunity to reflect on his presidency.
"Every single day, I was honored to be your president by bringing honor and dignity to the office," he said. Bush also added later that his faith played a large role in guiding his decisions: "From a personal perspective, I don't see how you can be president without relying upon an almighty."
Colin Powell, the former Bush Secretary of State who sparred with many members of the president's inner circle over the invasion of Iraq and endorsed Barack Obama's presidential bid - also spoke at the event and offered high praise of his ex-boss.
"We are safer than we were before 9-11 because of President Bush," Powell said.
The former president is also scheduled to participate in another "Get Motivated!" seminar in San Antonio, Texas on December 2, according to the company's Web site.
"For a limited time only," the Web site says, tickets are available for that event at $4.95 per person or $19 for a group.
Follow Alex Mooney on Twitter @awmooneycnn
Bush is a Son of a Gun, Rascal.
This Monkey cannot Motivate nobody.
He can only Motivate War.
He is Motivated by Oil.
Bush need to just Shut Up.
Wow...sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.
Ahhhh, for the good old days of George W. Bush. We do get to hear his name occasionally, but always as an excuse for not accomplishing anything or as blame for what happened during his presidency. It's not as if Bush asked for 9/11 or Katrina or a Democratically controlled congress the last two years of his presidency, nor did he ask for the likes of Barney Frank or Chris Dodd. The Democrats managed to bring him down, just like Nancy Pelosi promised and look what happened because of their misdirected energy.
We are safer now because of bush? What a lie. There is more terrorism, more threats to our country because of bush/cheney. And I am sure the Iraqis wish we had never invaded their country; 130 people would not have been killed in the last couple of days if Saddam were still in power. He held the tribes together, albeit with an iron fist, the country was at least stable. The one thing the bush people didn't want however was Saddam trading oil in Euros which is what he was proposing. It was all about oil. How many thousands of Americans dead and wounded, 100's of thousands Iraqis dead and wounded. And our country deep in debt to the tune of a trillion dollars. Could have had health care for our people for that amount of money.
I wouldn't pay a single nickle to hear this man speak. I'm facing ruin because of his policies and then to see him get up and make a cool $100,000 minimum to laugh and joke about the millions who are devastated because of his ruinous decisions is the final straw.
Well, it sounds to me that most of you have plenty of bad things to say about our former President. Yes, "President Bush"! I say that with pride. Maybe one day you too will come to your senses. Can't say that about Obama. At least "President Bush" stood by his morals, kept America safe and believed in America. Had a lot of experience and was able to take criticism from the left and the right. Don't forget and the libral media. Now we have this man in office (community organizer) which we now know a lot of people who voted for him is now regretting their vote! No experience in any kind of foreign policy, unlike "President Bush". I might as well add, Obama is not able to take the criticism very well, because he knows it's the truth. Trying to dictate our lives, bullying organizations who aren't on board with his agenda. It looks to me, he surrounded himself with to many low lifes before he became President. Now it's showing up during his Presidency. Wake up people, this is going to be a bad dream for the next three years....
George W, Bush certainly motivated me.
Motivated me to vote Democratic.
Please, what a .... Insult, a person who graduate with a "C-" and all the records that we know, what kind of motivation he may be, just like Sarah Pallin, what a face that we show to the World. Is sad, I don't know who are behind this, but we need to stop this manipulation if we want to be leaders in the world, we need real people with intelligence and brains.
But seriously, though...he has the potential to be the best motivational speaker ever. I mean, if *he* can become the most powerful man in the world, then imagine what *you* can accomplish!
He's a poor choice to be president and my suspicion has already been confirmed long before he decided to run and when he left office. Only a fool and his money are soon parted for anyone to watch him speak..
how long before he screws that up.?
To Colin Powell: If your boss made us so safe, then why did the September 11 attacks happen ON HIS WATCH?????
The most worthless president and administration in US history. Period.
I wouldn't pay 5 cents!
What website and how do you get tickets?
What he or his other brain (rove) have to say should only be said to a grand jury for the crimes againist humanity that they caused other people. Bush's other crooney cheney should also be along side them as they stand for punishment – only in America could people like these be allowed to continue with there lies.
If Bush came to speak, I think I'd be motivated to leave the room.
If listening to "W" speak doesn't motivate you to get an education I don't know what will!
I for one will not be welcoming George Bush back into the public
eye. He is uninspiring. He was not a good president and he is not a good human being. He is a liar. I would never buy his book.
"All the ways we can hurt the American people" . George Bush said that. That is his legacy. Motivational speaker. I asked the almighty to
make "W" go away.
What's with Colin Powell? Seems rather two-faced to me. (Money, money, money, money)!
Safer under Bush, who permitted 9/11 after 8 months in office? Obama has been in office 10 months! I scorn Powell when he sanctimoniously defends his former boss, I'm amazed Bush had a popularity rating in the 30s when he left office. That seems way too high.
Praise God for a President that still believes in the power of the Almighty God.
God bless President Bush and these sovereign states of America.
We need you back George/ We need you bad. Everyone i talk to say that they wish you were still in office. Things are out of control with this guy. the majority want the good ole days when you were in office. We should move to remove this idiot and install you back as president. we need a ressponsible grown up like you president bush. We need to do it BY ANY MEANS AT OUR DISPOSAL, POLITICALLY OR BY BRUT FORCE TO REMOVE THIS ENEMY OF THE REPUBLIC. aLL US CONSERVATIVES ARE READY. GOD BLESS GWBUSH AND GOD BLESS AMERICA!
I thought that, in order to be a speaker, you must first know how to speak.
Ok, we will give you that he sucks at public speaking, BUT HE'S NOT COMPLETELY HANDICAPED WITHOUT A TELEPROMPTER!!
"Every single day, I was honored to be your president by bringing honor and dignity to the office,"
Someone needs to buy you a good dictionary so you can look up the words "honor" and "dignity". They definitely have nothing to do with you and your Presidency.