(CNN) - His predecessor may be his political opposite, but President Barack Obama stressed Wednesday that George W. Bush remained steadfast in his love of country.
Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in Dallas on the eve of Bush's presidential library dedication, Obama said he was eagerly anticipating attending the event, which will bring together all five living U.S. presidents.
"I’m really looking forward to attending the Bush library opening tomorrow," Obama said, according to reporters traveling with him. Cameras were not permitted inside the event.
"One of the things I will insist upon is whatever our political differences, President Bush loves this country and loves its people and shares that same concern, and was concerned about all people in America, not just those who voted Republican. I think that’s true about him and I think that’s true about most of us," he continued.
While gridlock in Washington persists - "Right now Washington is not – how do I put this charitably? It’s not as functional as it should be," Obama said - Republicans can still expect calls from the president.
“Occasionally I may make some of you angry because I’m going to reach out to Republicans and I’m going to keep on doing it,” he told the crowd of Democratic donors. “Even if some of you think I’m a sap I’m going to keep on doing it because that’s what I think the country needs.”