President Bush has recently defended his bailout decisions in response to the financial crisis, and tonight he tells CNBC's Larry Kudlow that he won't second-guess the later financial moves of his successor.

As Kudlow fishes for commentary on TARP and GM in an interview airing at 7 p.m., Bush says...

Pres. BUSH: ... I can't prove to you a depression was going to happen, but I can tell you one didn't happen, and I believe it's because of the government intervention. I'm not going to second guess what my successor has done, the policies that took place after I left office. That'll be up for historians and for the pundits such as yourself to analyze. And I've made it clear, and I want to make it clear on this show that I do not want to second guess and/or criticize the person who replaced me, President Obama.

KUDLOW: I understand. I'm going to respect that boundary, but I do...

Pres. BUSH: Well, you're trying to soap--rope me into--hook lining about the current moment...

KUDLOW: No, absolutely...

Pres. BUSH: ...which implicitly would lead to either praise or criticism.

As he explains his crisis-response decisions, Bush sounds a lot like President Obama explaining the stimulus, their common message being: I didn't want to increase government involvement in the economy and the financial system, and people don't like seeing that happen, but desperate times called for desperate measures.