May 23rd, 2009
07:55 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama says he's kept in touch with Bush

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama says he values the confidence of his predecessors."]

(CNN) – Despite their opposing political views, President Obama says he’s kept in touch with former President Bush since moving into the White House.

Asked by CSPAN if he’s had any conversation with Bush since the inauguration, Obama replied, “I have.”

“I think that although I've only been president four months, I think a general policy of keeping confidence with your predecessors is important,” Obama said in an interview aired Saturday.

Just this week, Obama slammed the Bush administration for taking America “off course” in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack. In a speech on national security Thursday, he said his administration has been forced to deal with “a mess” that was left for them.

Obama told CSPAN that after 9/11, the government “cut too many corners and made some decisions that were contrary to who we are as a people.”

“I think there were adjustments that were made even within the Bush administration to try to deal with some of those mistakes. There are still consequences, though, to some of those earlier poor decisions, and I think Guantanamo was one of them. And it's a messy situation. It's not easy,” he said.

While Bush has largely stayed out of the fray, former Vice President Dick Cheney has been a vocal critic of some of Obama’s policies. Following Obama’s address, Cheney also gave a speech on national security. Cheney stood up for the Bush administration's security record, arguing that Obama has weakened the country's ability to combat al Qaeda and other extremists.

Bush, however, did not watch the dueling speeches. A source close to Bush said the former president was traveling at the time, enroute to New Mexico where he was the keynote speaker at a fund raising dinner for a scholarship program for students at Artesia High School.

Filed under: George W. Bush • President Obama
soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. Realistic Democrat

    Even as a Democrat, I am getting tired of hearing about everything that was inherited. That only goes so far with me. He is president now and needs to take responsibility for things from here on out! Bush inherited things, Clinton inherited things, etc.. Get over it and fix it!!!

    May 23, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  2. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama probably told Bush he left him with a headache with this Gitmo problem. And Obama is someone who impresses as not liking headaches – he'd rather get by on his speeches.

    May 23, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  3. Mel Ancholy

    Why would he keep in touch with past presidents of a different party. I don't believe Obama is really keeping in contact with Bush.

    May 23, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  4. jeff

    Jim Hall: Learn how to spell "advice" and then we'll talk.

    May 23, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  5. kayelynn

    Simmy........I have found in 70 years of living that only racist called others racist. If you weren't one, you couldn't possibly recognize one. Make your point, name calling does nothing to further dialog, which is what is needed. Based on your post, it appears if anyone does not totally agree with you then they are wrong. Can you never just agree to disagree? Want to have conversation that opens up possibilities of others seeing your point more clearly? Perhaps open eyes? Perhaps even open your eyes? Don't you think.....or do you not think?

    May 23, 2009 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  6. Bertina

    I think someone should tell Dick Cheney he is no longer vice-president. He doesn't seem to get it. What is his problem? Is he going through his second childhood or what? Why does the media give him so much attention and time. Don't you know people would rather he stay out of the picture. He's done his damage. His daughter should get a life.!!!!

    May 23, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  7. kayelynn

    When grown ups join to discuss, call me. You young people are tedious at best. Chicago thug politics at it's finest. Over seventy years, observing for at least fifty in my Windy city..........Ole Al Capone would be proud...and jealous. Fasten your seat belts, you are going to be made to watch. Going to be a rough ride. Circumstances do not make a man's character, circumstance's reveal a man's character. Hind sight is always "right", and memories are fleeting. Does anyone on this post actually remember how they felt, what they thought when 9/11 played out? Anyone change their minds since?

    May 24, 2009 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  8. janelle

    I'm sick and tired of hearing about all the messes he's been left. He had all the answers to these messes when he was campaigning. Now it's time to implement those ideas and answers, and all we get is feet dragging and flimsy exuses about the mess he was left. Get over it and get down to business. OR, is it possible that Obama is finding out that being President and all the responsibilities to all Americans is quite a bit different than just taking pot shots at your predecessor as a candidate.

    May 24, 2009 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  9. The black spider

    Is talking means getting advise from Bush?
    You guys need to get a grip.
    You partisan extremist politicians are the only one that think political adversaries are ennemies.
    Did you see him come back and diabolize chenney aftr his critics? or insult chenny?
    He probably call bush to tell chenny to shut the hell up.

    May 24, 2009 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  10. State of Tennessee

    As for Obama contacting Bush, that is normal for every president. It might be one of the few "normal" things that the assistant community organizer has done so far. Maybe if he gets pointers from Bush, the country will have a slight chance of surviving the next 3.75 years without disintegrating.

    May 24, 2009 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  11. Reedster

    I think we all know what the real issue is regardless of what party all of you think you belong to. People in the US are dingalings. People, when are we all going to learn that our leaders make no sense, barely have any right to tell us what to do, and screw us over and over.

    May 24, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  12. judge

    Paula, Old news on birth certificate. You don't Think that FBI/CIA and the other jerks have not seen these items?? Not all Bushwacker was made public. BTW, Things have changed, today any personal information on VIP's can hurt their security. Get off it, Obama is president and there is nothing you can do until 2012. Good luck, Republitards are a joke.
    Will the last republican to leave, please turn out the lights.

    May 24, 2009 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  13. Grammar Police

    @ all the grammar police that have time to sift through for all their grammar errors should get a life!

    May 24, 2009 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  14. dave

    no surprise here. he really can talk out both sides of his mouth.

    May 24, 2009 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  15. Tom

    Maybe Obama just wanted to tell Bush he found his 'weed patch' that he planted up at Camp David.

    May 24, 2009 12:46 am at 12:46 am |

    The claim by the Bush administraion that our national security is in jeopardy if the Guantanamo camp is dismantled is a falacy that can only be compared to the chamberlization and the killing of the Jews by the infamous Nazi goverment when they characterized their action as a prevention and the extermination of the Jewish expansionism. Afterall the Jews like the majority of these Guantanamo prisoners who have nothing to do with the war has thr right to freedom under the Geneva humanright act.

    May 24, 2009 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  17. Lance

    Barry needs to talk to Bush because he has no idea what he is doing. He is way over his head!

    May 24, 2009 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
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