May 22nd, 2009
01:23 PM ET
11 years ago

'Liberating feeling' to be out of office, says Bush

Former President George W. Bush told a high school audience Thursday that it's a 'liberating feeling' to no longer be president.

Former President George W. Bush told a high school audience Thursday that it's a 'liberating feeling' to no longer be president.

(CNN) - Yesterday - as his former vice president and his successor both gave major national security speeches in Washington, DC - former President Bush was nearly 1,900 miles away, telling a high school audience how "liberating" it felt to get some distance between himself and the burdens of governance.

"I no longer feel that great sense of responsibility that I had when I was in the Oval Office," he told listeners at New Mexico's Artesia High School, according to the Roswell Daily Record. "And frankly, it's a liberating feeling."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, famously reluctant to grant mainstream interviews while still in office, has become an outspoken presence on the airwaves in recent months. In Washington Thursday, he offered a vigorous defense of the Bush administration's policies on national security and interrogation of terror suspects - and criticism of President Obama's approach - at a conservative think-tank in downtown Washington, just minutes after the new commander-in-chief addressed the same issues in an address at the National Archives.

But Bush has been conspicuously silent on the president– and told prospective graduates Friday he was glad to be back to a lower-key existence, at a comfortable remove from the national spotlight.

Walking his dog Barney recently, "I realized this was the first time I'd been walking in a neighborhood for 14 years," he said. "It's not all that hard, by the way. You take one step, and then you take another.

...And there I was, former President of the United States of America, with a plastic bag on my hand. Life is returning back to normal."

Bush sounded just a few familiar, non-partisan policy notes, saying a soldier who had lost both legs because the president ordered him into battle had made his sacrifice for a "noble and necessary reason."

No video cameras were allowed into the president's speech. He has not granted any interviews since leaving office.

Filed under: George W. Bush
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. mark boddhu

    we feel the same way, Mr. Bush: liberated from your daily torture

    May 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. CG

    Liberating for the whole world actually. Bye bye.

    May 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. Ryan

    Dick Cheney needs to put a sock in it. Try picking up hunting again, just remember which end of the gun is the dangerous end.

    May 22, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Mike in TX

    Im just glad Bush is not bashing Obama like Dick is. I have a bit more respect for him now.......

    May 22, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Fred Barry

    it is easy for the demotax to be Monday morning quarterbacks, and Peloisi and company would have no idea how to handle what President Bush had to do.

    Where is my stimulus check?

    May 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Fred Barry

    I like eggs

    May 22, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. jaye

    Bush should have to spend all his days in IRAQ instead of billionaire row in Dallas.
    Our soldiers are fighting and dying at his hand, and he has the guts to say how good it is to be out of office.
    He makes me sick!!!!!

    May 22, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. John, Rochester MN

    donttreadonme May 22nd, 2009 2:05 pm ET
    I find it ironic that some want put you on trial for warterboarding when the evil dictator Sadam who slaughtered 100s of thousands of people was never put on trial at all.
    Considering how often you post on a news site, I would think you should have actually gotten some news out of it. Saddam was put on trial. And found guilty. And executed.

    May 22, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. kd

    I feel liberated since Bush left, too. We all do.

    May 22, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. JT

    Sounds like Bush and Cheney aren't playing with a full deck. What is wrong with those people???? Seriously, the entire GOP is acting a little loopy. Maybe they got mad-cow disease at one of the RNC dinners or something. There is just no logic or reason with any of them – It's getting to the point of being scary.

    May 22, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Eric

    Fred Barry
    would you care about trying to make some sense when you write a post?

    May 22, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. 4 and The Door

    Obama will probably not be so worn out from the job when he leaves office. 8 years are much harder on a guy than 4.

    May 22, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. The Dude

    I have to give Bush credit. He has handled the transition with class and honor. It's too bad that Cheney didn't take lessons.

    May 22, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. R

    I also feel liberated thanks.

    May 22, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Proud Member..Party of No

    Bush may not have been the greatest President we've ever had but he can take comfort in knowing that he was far, far better than the imbecile we have now.

    May 22, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Brian0901

    I am sick and tired of you morons thanking this creep for keeping us "safe"

    9/11 happened on his watch because he ignored the warning signs. Is 3,000 dead amercians the "safe" you are thanking him for?

    May 22, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. al

    I am sure he does, as would anyone.

    I have to say, like many others that I feel liberated since he left office and the republicans were removed from power in the house and senate.

    May 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Proud American

    Imagine how we feel.......

    May 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. peakarack

    This idiot should have never been the president of any countries period. hahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. M the K

    I was just thinking how liberating it was to have him out of office. Apparently, a lot of people here feel the same way.

    This man literally scared the Republican out of me. I'm no longer a Republican and I am not looking back.

    I am a proud supporter of President Obama.

    May 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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