June 8th, 2009
04:38 PM ET
14 years ago

Laura Bush: I understand why Cheney's speaking out

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/27/art.getty.laura.bush.closeu.jpg caption="Former first lady Laura Bush said she knew why Cheney is speaking out - and why her husband isn't."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former first lady Laura Bush said Monday she knows why former Vice President Dick Cheney feels the need to attack President Obama's policies, and publicly defend his own administration's legacy.

But she explained why her husband, former President George Bush, has not given any public interviews or commented critically on the new administration since leaving office in January.

"I think that's [Cheney's] right as a citizen of the U.S., and I think he also feels obligated, and so I understand why he wants to speak out," Laura Bush said in an interview on ABC's Good Morning America broadcast Monday. "On the other hand, George feels like as a former president that he owes President Obama his silence on issues, and that there's no reason to second guess any decisions that he makes."

President Bush has given few public addresses, and no one-on-one interviews, since Obama's inauguration.

Bush sounded a positive note over at least one of Obama's decisions: his pick of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve on the Supreme Court, calling her "a very interesting and good nominee."

"As a woman, I'm proud that there might be another woman on the court," she said. "So we'll see what happens, but I wish her well."

The former first lady said that she and her husband have discussed the civil war over the Republican Party's future, but downplayed the intra-party conflict.

"It's like creative tension within a party for people to talk about... how they want to be represented," she said.

Filed under: Laura Bush
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Gerda Edwards

    Unfortunately Pres Carter and VP Gore decided that violating the long-standing code not critisize subsequent Administrations was the right thing to do. VP Cheney decided to follow suit.

    At least both Pres Bushes and Pres Clinton still have class.

    June 8, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Todd

    I think Laura should fade away. History will not be nice to the "W"

    History will be ever tougher on Cheney, the draft dodging VP who promoted an awful war and killed our economy.

    June 8, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Johnathan S.

    I was wondering when the Repub's were going to roll Laura out.
    I actually respected her, while her totally inept husband
    was in office.
    I should have known better.
    I hope they're both enjoying thier new 2 million+ home.

    June 8, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. galeski

    That is SUCH a double standard.
    Cheney is a former VP...same thing that applies to Bush applies to Cheney.

    What a crock of crap.

    June 8, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. Dave

    I understand it to Mrs. Bush. There's this thing called the truth though, that keeps getting in the way. I'm sure W has the same problem.

    June 8, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. jo jo

    I understand Laura Bush is trying to defend her husband’s honor by defending Cheney. After all, it was her husband making all of the decisions, right? Of course not! Sorry Laura, but the only reason you are speaking out on behalf of Cheney is because Bush was totally clueless as to what was really going on in the white house. If we didn’t know, we know now who was really running this country, Cheney! If Bush was on top of everything going on during his administration, he shouldn’t have any problems publicly defending his legacy. Since, however, he was only a puppet and no longer has Cheney and Carl Rove pulling his strings telling him what to say, it’s best that he does keep quite. Nice try, Laura but no cigar!

    June 8, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. IsaacTheForcedCatholic

    Gee, I wonder why Bush feels like that. Maybe he knows how screw up his administration was and how badly he damage our country...

    June 8, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. joe

    It's very easy to understand why Cheney is speaking out. He's trying to shove the blame elsewhere for the horrible oversight of ignoring CIA warnings about an impending terrorist attack. He and Bush were completely stunned by the event, and mortified by the possibility that they'd have to take the rap for it.

    June 8, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. Melissa

    Cheney is opening his mouth because he knows that if Obama's administration continues to investigate, he's going to be found guilty of war crimes and go to jail for a long time. He's trying to get the people on his side by using typical Republican scare tactics before the Obama administration finishes its investigation because he's hoping that public demand will mean he won't spend the rest of his life in prison.

    Somehow I doubt that's what Barbara Bush means. She's not exactly the brightest bulb in the pack.

    June 8, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Had It

    Lay low W – you'll still be prosecuted eventually.

    June 8, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. mrs ct

    A classy lady! I always like Laura Bush

    June 8, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. A-man

    This doesn't explain anything. Just because someone has a "right" to do something does not make it moral or in good taste.

    June 8, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. kgeukes

    Anyone who believes Cheney's lies is a twit!!!

    June 8, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. Blamester

    Laura, becuase you spoke little, we assumed you had a brain and gave you a pass. Don't ruin it now.

    June 8, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. A. Goodwin

    I think its great that Cheney and others want to speak out. After all, this IS America and we do have freedom of speech. Even president Obama welcomes the dialogue that Cheney brings to the table.

    Of course anytime Cheney and his darling daughter (NOT!) open their mouths, they send the Republican Party further down into the depths of obscurity.

    As a Democrat – I agree with Obama. Let them all talk. This is a free country. They are only doing their own party harm!

    June 8, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. xavier

    Classy lady, but her husband was a bad president.

    June 8, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. The black spider

    Cheney is working hard not to go to jail but every day he open up his mouth his chances of going increased.
    How can you make an argument to go to war with irak and have more than 4000 of out brave soldiers killed based on the fact that Sadam Hussein is sponsoring terrorism but at the same time you told the world that IRAN is the number one nation that sponsor terrorism? It's called nonsense.

    June 8, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. beartrack

    Poor Laura, she wants to make the break from the old GOP crap but, just can't do it...yet. There is a real, thinking, rational person in there, and is starting to see the light.

    June 8, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. ann

    OK, Laura, so It's fine that Cheney trashes Obama while George sits on the sideline to be "polite"?
    And, don't worry, your husband doesn't need to second guess his decisions because the American people understand, all to well, where his decisons have taken us.

    June 8, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Fred the Moderate

    Cheney's trying to sure up his own legacy and can care less for the American people or his former aid, GW. He pulled the strings while hiding all 8 years and now he's an item? He is news because he trys to cause trouble for the people trying to fix his blunders. The old adage "If it bleeds, It leads" is still alive and well in the media. Stop following him with your shovels and he'll go away and just maybe we can turn the page on one of the worst 8 year stretches I've had sense regan and his reganomics (that was a recession with interst rates of 18% if you recall)

    June 8, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. mypitts2

    The differences between Republicans is beyond "creative tension." She should read the blogs. There is a fundamental split that needs to be addressed or it will ruin the party for a generation or end it as we know it.

    June 8, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. Chris D.

    As a liberal, who voted Gore in 2000, and lamently for Kerry (wish we had a better candidate....he let the GOP push him around) in 2004. I want to say God Bless you to Mrs. Bush......I supported GW, until the Iraq war......However I backed him big time during the shock and awe campaign on Afghanistan when we retaliated against the taliban, and Al Queda, after 9/11.......I respect Bush as a man, and as the former President.....many in my family voted for him in 2004 figuring since he started the war, let him finish it.....Too bad we couldn't finish it under him.....Even when GW got the shoes thrown at him I was a bit livid, b/c I felt no foreign person, in a foreign land should disrespect the U.S.(though I also understand the journalists pain, and anger).
    Anyway as an Obama supporter, and a person who respects the office of the Presidency in general, I find GW to be a statesman and a gentleman, for not weighing in on any of Obama's decisions as President.

    June 8, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. Carlos

    I am starting to like Bush more and more, even though I loathed his two front war and cutting taxes at the same time which was a recipe for fiscal disaster. Nevertheless, our current one has no idea about fiscal prudence–we still have a two front war and now expenditure upon expenditure.

    June 8, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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