Obama praises Bush 41 as ‘one of the more underrated presidents’

Barack Obama, George HW Bush
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President Obama is heaping praise on former President George H.W. Bush in a forthcoming television special about the 41st president’s life.

Obama told Fox News his Republican predecessor is “one of the more underrated presidents we have ever had” because of his ability to balance principle and common sense while governing the country. 

“When you look at both how he managed foreign policy and when you think about how he handled domestic policy in each case he was thoughtful, restrained, and made good decisions,” Obama said in the interview, which will air Friday, according to Variety.

{mosads}“And I think that ultimately he was one of the more underrated presidents that we’ve ever had certainly in modern times.”

Obama campaigned against the hawkish foreign policy of President George W. Bush, the elder Bush’s son. But he complimented the 41st president’s measured approach to international affairs after the fall of the Soviet Union, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“I think that the Bush administration understood that for us to be able to reimagine Europe and reimagine the world was going to require restraint and care,” he said. “His national security team helped to usher in, relatively peacefully, a transition to what we now know as a unified Europe, and purchased at least 25 years of relative stability and peace in relations between the United States and Russia.”

Obama’s interview is part of a TV special pegged to the release of a new book on Bush by journalist Jon Meacham titled “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.”

It also comes in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign, when Republican candidate Jeb Bush is grappling with how his family name could affect his standing with voters.

Obama has paid public tribute to the 41st president several times before. But his latest comments could resonate with Republican voters who strongly oppose him and might be looking for a candidate who does not hail from a political dynasty.

Fox News also interviewed former President George W. Bush, his brother Neil Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

In the book, the elder Bush is critical of Cheney for wielding too much influence within his son’s administration and pushing him toward a hard-line approach on foreign policy.

Bush called Cheney, who served as his secretary of Defense, an “iron-ass” who succumbed to hawkish views following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Cheney said he adopted his views on his own but praised the book, according to the Sentinel.

“The diary’s fascinating, because you can see how he felt at various key moments of his life,” Cheney told Fox News. “So I’m enjoying the book. I recommend it to my friends. And proud to be a part of it.”

Tags Barack Obama George H.W. Bush

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