October 27th, 2009
10:03 AM ET
13 years ago

Bush debuts as motivational speaker

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/23/art.gwbush0923.gi.jpg caption="Bush spoke at a 'Get Motivated!' event in Fort Worth, Texas Monday night"](CNN) - Former President George W. Bush made his debut as a motivational speaker Monday night, telling a Fort Worth, Texas crowd it's futile to waste energy chasing popularity.

"It's so simple in life to chase popularity, but popularity is fleeting, it's not real," Bush said at a "Get Motivated!" business seminar, a multi-city event its organizers describe as an "energizing, action-packed, star-studded, fun-filled, spectacular stage show."

The president himself saw wild popularity swings during his eight years in the White House, garnering nearly a 90 percent approval rating in the months following the attacks on September 11, 2001 and exiting office with only the support of 31 percent of Americans, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll.

The former president was greeted enthusiastically by the 11,000 attendees of the event, according to the Fort Worth Telegram, and he spoke casually for about 20 minutes.

Event organizers declined to disclose how much the former president was compensated for the appearance, though former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received $100,000 for a similar speech at the event two years ago.

Bush, who has made few public appearances or statements since leaving office nine months ago, also took the opportunity to reflect on his presidency.

"Every single day, I was honored to be your president by bringing honor and dignity to the office," he said. Bush also added later that his faith played a large role in guiding his decisions: "From a personal perspective, I don't see how you can be president without relying upon an almighty."

Colin Powell, the former Bush Secretary of State who sparred with many members of the president's inner circle over the invasion of Iraq and endorsed Barack Obama's presidential bid - also spoke at the event and offered high praise of his ex-boss.

"We are safer than we were before 9-11 because of President Bush," Powell said.
The former president is also scheduled to participate in another "Get Motivated!" seminar in San Antonio, Texas on December 2, according to the company's Web site.

"For a limited time only," the Web site says, tickets are available for that event at $4.95 per person or $19 for a group.

Follow Alex Mooney on Twitter @awmooneycnn

Filed under: George W. Bush • Popular Posts
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Well, this takes the "cake". George W. Bush motivating people?? More to the truth would be, "How to Become a Con Artist".

    October 27, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. MikeMazzla

    Listening to what he has to say is worth about $5.95. Any President who admits that he relies on the "almighty" scares the heck out of me.

    October 27, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. jill

    What I find amazing, is how does he think he could motivate anyone? I am quite sure there were 11,000 people there, but why? I didn't always think he was bad, but he changed my mind very quickly. I will never have any respect for him again. He trashed this country. Now we have to suffer to clean it up.

    October 27, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. mark

    History will speak to his presidency, but still a classy man. I think he'll have a good impact as a former president. I can't imagine the relief it feels to not carry the weight of the US President. He'll become much more media approved the further removed we get from his presidency.

    October 27, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. Mike

    As lomg as his new gig isn't as president, then it's okay.

    October 27, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. Jay Oplinger

    This IS comedy – right!

    A man who can't put a complete sentence together while president is now a motivational speaker. Seems to me that the people HE motivated are already motivated and the rest of us are glad he is over the horizon.

    October 27, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  7. Drum Roll . . . Presenting Jarge DUH-Huh?-Bu-Ya Bahooooosh

    Jarge couldn't motivate a thinking 1st grader. He only casts his evil spell over the unsuspecting retarded GOP middle-class, who then carries out his Nazii Agenda and spreading viscious lies about Obama.

    October 27, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Terry from West Texas

    Colin Powell says that we are safer because of G. W. Bush, but I disagree. There are more terrorists now than in 2000 when Bush took office. That is because a smoldering hatred for the US was ignited by Bush policies. After blowing $6 trillion in borrowed Chinese dollars, we find that Iran is stronger, North Korea is better off than before, Communist China's economy is strong and robust due to Bush (and Clinton) trade policies that got us into NAFTA, and we are broke.

    The Bush Administration flushed America down the toilet. His administration will go down in history as the end marker for the American century.

    Somehow, all that doesn't motivate me.

    October 27, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. Josh

    Somehow I think Bush should've gone with something else, like flipping burgers... Speaking isn't really his thing, especially motivational speaking.

    Isn't it a little ironic that he gives a speech on popularity and why not to pursue it as his first speech?

    Sir, which is a term I am using very loosely here, popularity is real. It can be achieved by doing what the people want in our democratic republic. You did the opposite of what many Americans wanted, which is why your "popularity rating" was almost in negative!

    October 27, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Jim

    Maybe he can cover "How to lie to everyone, including yourself" so he can keep deluding himself about the MESS HE LEFT OUR COUNTRY IN YOU FASCIST SCUMBAG.

    Have a great day.

    October 27, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. dennisk

    So the least-motivated President ever is now a motivational speaker... How long before he becomes a failure at this, like he's failed at everything else he's ever done in his life?

    October 27, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. Dave

    "Every single day, I was honored to be your president by bringing honor and dignity to the office."

    Yeah, right. He brought ineptitude, arrogance, hypocrisy, and deceit to the office. While he's out making thousands of dollars for his speeches, we have soldiers dying in his unjust wars and a new President who will spend years cleaning up his messes. So much for honor and dignity

    October 27, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. Black Viper

    I will not wast any minute of time listening to Bush.

    October 27, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. brian

    don't you have to be successful to do this?... he had one of the worst presidencies in memory, agreed upon by both political parties, what could he possibly be saying up there?

    October 27, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. MoodyBlue

    While I might question his qualifications on the subject, at least George found a legitimate line of work. Dick "When in doubt, waterboard" Cheney on the other hand, apparently never received the email that he's no longer VP.

    October 27, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. Fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    Mr Bush, I would just like to thank you for your continued class in not taking potshots at the current administration. You are taking the high road. I wish you and Laura the best.. If i could i would love to hear you and Mr Powell speak.

    October 27, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. Hilda Holcomb

    Bush is a moron..............Always was.......... Always will be.
    Dignity to the White House..............
    That house has had no dignity in years......" RESPCT AT THE WHITE HOUSE" went out the door years ago........ How long has it been since you respected the office of President.....
    For the American people to let Bush take office and now to have A
    first lady who knows.. not... to touch the QUEEN of England!
    AND a first lady who plants a Vegetable garden! A president who bows to a Saudi prince..... Where is the respect? Where is the dignity we once had in this country... GONE ........... that is where it is...... Gone forever........ China will be the super power by 2050...... We dropped the ball....

    October 27, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. Steve R

    As a previous CNN poll proved, the majority of Americans believe the price of $4.95 per person is exorbitant. Most wouldn't pay 5 bucks to hear him speak. I would pay far more to make him stop. His legacy; finding and using the WEAPONS OF FISCAL DESTRUCTION! It will take a generation to fix his and Cheney's evil.

    October 27, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. Hugo

    Yeah right, go back to your bunker Georgie. You may have made us safer from outside terror attacks but we are now being destroyed from the inside out due to your oblivious tunnel vision and acts of fiscal irresponsibility. You alone opened the door for Liberals to gain control of our Nation and you alone are responsible for an Obama Whitehouse, your Administration set the stage for perpetuating his massive spending spree and your Administration allowed Liberals a foothold to gain a platform to spin & spew every one of their kooky ideas on the American people!

    I hope people are now awake and Vote out every incumbent in DC in 2010 and 2012! Time to flush the House and Senate! Let your local career elitist get a taste of losing their job and benefits!

    October 27, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Why isn't this jerk in prison as a war criminal? At the very least, why isn't he exiled to Iraq or Afghanistan so he can experience the wars he started?

    October 27, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. Wheat

    Does he "live in van down by the river?"

    October 27, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  22. Kerry in VA

    Are you kidding me? The only motivation speech he should be giving is to his old buddies. PLEASE GIVE US BACK OUR MONEY!!!!!!!!!

    October 27, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. Rob

    "It's so simple in life to chase popularity, but popularity is fleeting, it's not real," – Gee, too bad Obumbles doesn't realize this. Making troops wait it out until the elections are done, just in case he's not viewed popularly enough. The fact is Bush has more honor and integrety in one finger than Obama could ever hope to have, not matter how hard he looks for it on the golf course.

    October 27, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. kathy

    He should do what he's been doing the last 9 months and stay

    October 27, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. BigVic4

    Are you kidding me?

    October 27, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9