(CNN) - While President Obama took a measured tone in referencing his predecessor during the Oval Office address on Iraq last month, Vice President Biden appeared to go considerably further Thursday in his praise of former President Bush.
"I've never known a time when you didn't care about what happened. We disagreed on policy. You deserve a lot of credit, Mr. President," Biden, looking straight into the camera, told Bush during an appearance on The Colbert Report Wednesday night.
"Mr. President, thank you," Biden also said. "You've honored these guys. You've honored these women. You've honored these troops."
The comments surpassed those of Obama, who, in his address announcing the end of combat missions in Iraq, thanked the former president for supporting the troops but refrained from crediting him for his role in conducting the war – specifically his implementation of the surge strategy in 2007 that is widely credited with improving security conditions in the country.
The move riled many Republicans who say the risky strategy - which both Obama and Biden opposed when they were presidential candidates during the early stages of the 2008 race for the White House - was vital to bringing about an end to the conflict.
Biden also tried out a new gig Wednesday night, delivering hot dogs to Iraq War veterans in the show's audience – a move that was played off as a surprise to the mock conservative talk-show host:
"Hey, hot dog guy!" Colbert yelled.
"Hey, man – to you, it's Mr. Vice President hot dog guy!" said Biden, revealing his face. "Read your Constitution, man," Biden continued. "I got two constitutional duties."
"I thought it was just breaking ties in the senate?" Colbert responded.
"No, the other was giving hot dogs to returning warriors," said Biden.