Bush Won't Second-Guess Obama

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.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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