Washington (CNN) – Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush say they’re in no hurry to give President Obama any advice, notwithstanding all of the challenges and crises Obama’s administration has faced.
“I think once you’ve been president you shouldn’t gratuitously offer any advice to your successor,” said former President Clinton in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “If somebody asked you what you think, you tell them. Otherwise, you just show up when you’re asked to help,” Clinton also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
“It was good to walk back through here,” former President George W. Bush said of his first visit to the White House since President Obama was inaugurated nearly a year ago.
Sitting in a relaxed and comfortable manner after meeting with Clinton and Obama to discuss relief for Haiti, Bush told King, “I frankly don’t miss the limelight. I’m glad to help out, but there’s life after the presidency is what I’ve learned, and I’m going to live it to the fullest, and this is part of living it to the fullest, to help other people.”
Clinton also said that he thought the new administration had handled the situation in Haiti well.
“Look, we had the greatest honor the American people can give, and I think both of us feel a sense of profound gratitude,” Clinton told King. “But President Obama is a, is a gifted man with good people working for him. He’s working hard. And I – you know, I wish him well. Obviously I support him, and I think he had extraordinary taste in his Secretary of State,” Clinton said, eliciting a chuckle from Bush.
“It’s not our role,” Clinton also told King. Obama’s “got a hard enough job without everybody else trying to, you know, give him advice. And I will say this, and I think George agrees with me. [Obama] has been great on this [Haitian relief effort].”
The two former presidents visited the White House Saturday to formally announce their joint effort to spearhead private fundraising for Haitian relief. They sat down for their candid interview with King after joining Obama for the announcement in the White House Rose Garden.