May 28th, 2009
02:55 PM ET
13 years ago

W to speak out

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Former President Bush is expected to take questions from an American audience for the first time since leaving office."](CNN) - Former President George W. Bush will take questions from an American audience for the first time since leaving the White House on January 20.

The former president travels to Benton Harbor, Michigan to address the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan.

A spokesman for the former president says Bush will discuss his eight years in the White House, his transition to private life, and his outlook on both the economy and world events. The former president is also expected to answer questions from the audience.

Last week the former president spoke to students, faculty, and families at a high school in New Mexico.

Bush gave his first post-presidency speech in Calgary, Alberta, in March. That speech, like tonight's, was closed to television cameras.

He plans to team up with his predecessor, former President Bill Clinton, in Toronto, Canada tomorrow for what's being termed a "conversation." That event is also closed to television cameras.

While former Vice President Dick Cheney has been outspoken in his defense of the Bush administration and criticism of Obama's policies, the former president has remained extremely quiet.

"I know from talking to the former president that he feels very strongly about not criticizing President Barack Obama. And it was clear to me that in the closing days of his administration, Mr. Bush craved some anonymity, or at least as much anonymity as you can get being a former President," says CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "My guess is in the years to come we will see him talking, and getting paid, but we are not likely to hear him say much about current affairs or the current president."

Filed under: George W. Bush
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. fella from Chicago

    To Brian0901:

    Clinton had Bin Laden in his crosshairs and didn't pull the trigger long before 9/11 and when Clinton knew full well Bin Laden was a terrorist who needed to be taken out. Another spineless Dem who was afraid of his voting bloc's reaction from the far left if he did so. Think of the vote before the country is the Dem philosophy. That's in accordance with Obama's Supreme Court pick. Another nice voting bloc to try and ensnare for years to come.

    May 28, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. John M in NoHo CA

    The sarcasm coming from all of you... That's why the other side never listens.

    May 28, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Frank from Peterborough

    Huff Post has a fire going and people are looking for blood. Cheney's head will roll soon.

    May 28, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. Frank, Las Vegas

    Oh goody, goody. The late night comics need new material.

    May 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. al

    3 generations of Bush know how much they are disliked. We all know the weak and unreasoning President that "W" was. The story of his life before the Presidency made that clear. However I believe that the man now realizes the greatness of his errors and he has made no attempt to publicly defend the tragedy that his administration was. So let's take a Christian approach and let pity and forgiveness toward him, enter our hearts.

    May 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. P. Y.

    Is this to be a hand picked audience like when he was president ? Are the questions to be submitted before the show begins like when he was president ? Will he wear ear plugs so that the answers can be plugged into him before he speaks ? And lastly, does he have Cheney and Limbaugh's approval to speak ?

    May 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Brandon from Albuquerque

    If he supposedly kept the country so safe like the Conservatives claim, then why is it that so many more Americans died under his administration than did many of his predecessors? Don't forget, he's the one that sent us to two failing wars, & failed to prevent 9/11 when he had the chance.

    May 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Kevin in Ohio

    Remember left wingers, Obama is entitled to receive every bit of respect and admiration from us that you have shown president Bush the last eight years. The comments I read from you here are nothing short of disgusting.

    May 28, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. chuck

    Will there actually be anyone in the audience? Who are these people that would want to hear from this man again?

    May 28, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Once You Vote Black

    You can thank W for giving us Obama. If Bush had not stunk up the nation to the point that the average voter wanted a Black Muslim Marxist who wants to bankrupt the nation then you people would not be loosing your country. White people would still reign supreme, and all would be happy. But no! W dropped the ball so now you can just blame yourself for voting him in 2 xs

    May 28, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Greg in AR

    RE: @Gerda Edwards May 28th, 2009 3:59 pm ET

    Greg in AR May 28th, 2009 3:48 pm ET "President Bush was a great President,…? Thank you for keeping this country safe since 911?….wait, what about keeping this country safe BEFORE 911???…."
    He DID keep the country safe "BEFORE 911."

    MY BAD.....I SHOULD HAVE SAID "ON 911"....for all you "W" supporters that think he did such a great job.....

    May 28, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. ron

    You see a lot of posts from the right taking issue with the left that they are not as tolerant as they would like to believe, as proven their hateful speech toward to right.
    You are correct, we will no longer tolerate the stupidity the GOP has shown over the last 30 years that has led our once great country to ruin. We hate the fact that you, no matter what concrete, undeniable evidence is put before you, will still spout the same old useless rhetoric and lies. Please add some useful dialog, maybe even a few new ideas, to help put this country back together and maybe the hate from the left will subside.

    May 28, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. nator

    ha ha ha. I love watching the left squirm.

    It's kind of like an ant pile after it's been disturbed....those ants running around like crazy, diligently working hard to rebuild their world, mad as hell....only to have thoughtless kids like us destroy the pile again solely for the sake of our amusement.

    Awesome. By the way, did I mention GIG EM AGGIES! Go VRWC.

    May 28, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. Greg Smith, Clifton Heights PA

    President Bush a great President

    President Obama not

    May 28, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I guess the right wing is okay with having a major U.S. city go under water and wait 5 days to rescue people. Oh how they seem to forget.

    May 28, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. Shelly

    STOP!!! Just stop! There's a line from "Band of Brothers" about respect for the rank, not the man. I didn't vote for Obama but I sure in the heck respect the fact that he is 'The President'. How long does it have to be before you all just Shut Up and get over it? The former "President" did the best he could–just like every other president we have had. Just like President Obama is doing now. Please–Keep the poison to yourselves.

    May 28, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Kathy

    Some of you are such idiots!!! I have a lot of respect for former Pres. Bush. He is 10 times the man Hussein is. Don't blame him totally for the mess our country is in... Look at the Dem. Congress as well. They are the real culprits. We'll be much worse off after 4 years of O.

    May 28, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Jan 20th ? What year ?

    That should give him enough time to plead his case !

    May 28, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. dominican mama 4 Obama

    I think Bush that you should stay away from folks, and give us time to heal. A lot of people the were off their blood pressure medicine since your departure, are running to their medicine cabinet today.

    May 28, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Jon in CA

    I visit CNN regularly to get a laugh from you libs!

    Your daily display of hypocrisy is predictable:

    You hold Bush responsible for "not protecting" us from 9/11.... but think Obama ISN'T responsible for anything happening during HIS first months as President.

    You attack and deride President Bush's intelligence.... but think NOTHING of Obama needing a teleprompter at EVERY event, who campaigned in 57 states, and tries closing GITMO without a plan.

    You libs cry "Bush lied" – yet turn an obvious blind eye to the MANY broken promises of Obama.

    The list goes on and on.

    SERIOUSLY – are you all partisan whackjobs or just stupid?

    May 28, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Mr Manhattan

    Does anyone remember the news footage of the Bush administration officials prepping the officers in Iraq and telling them the proper propaganda to say regarding how great our progress in Iraq was? Remember the gay porn actor who the Bush administration had pose as a member of the press so he could ask "loaded" questions to Dubya regarding how great the economy was doing? Remember the people in one of Bushs town hall meetings being prepped to tell Dubya how great a Pres they thought he was? I think I'll watch reruns Of Ren & Stimpy instead. Theyre less of a cartoon than Dubya ever wished he could be!

    May 28, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Typical Republican

    Bush is AWESOME.

    He murdered 3000 people on Sept 11th. Obama only has 3 more months to be able to claim he kept us safe, he better get to work and kill some of us if he wants to be known for keeping us safe.

    Bush....This is The man that made Torture a wonderful thing to do! The man that ended both wars before eight years. The man that caught Osama Bin Laden. The man the eliminated forever Al Qaeda. The man that eliminated forever the Taliban. The man that left us with a wonderful economy. The man that made us loved around the world. The man that made our schools the best in the world. The man that saved everyone in Hurricane Katrina. The man that kept more jobs coming to america then leaving. The man who wouldn't allow our right to privacy to be trampled and tread upon.

    George Rawks my Socks!

    May 28, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. mark

    bush taking credit for no more terrorist attacks is like the old joke about a guy that was spraying air out of a spray can when another man walked up and asked him what he was spraying. the man said it was a spray to keep tigers away.the other man said,but there is'nt a tiger within a thousand miles of here. and the first man said, see it works.

    May 28, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Republicans are the American Taliban

    What did Condaleezza Rice know about the torture? What did the CIA tell her in their hearings? Why didn't she try to stop the torture? Why aren't the Republicans focusing on her?

    May 28, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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