Former US president George W. Bush said that he won’t criticize his successor Barack Obama because the new US president “deserves my silence,” and said he plans to write a book about the 12 toughest decisions he made in office.
Bush declined to critique the Obama administration in his first speech since leaving office.
“I’m not going to spend my time criticizing him. There are plenty of critics in the arena,” Bush said on Tuesday. “He deserves my silence.”
About 200 people protested outside the event in Calgary; four were arrested.
Bush said he wants Obama to succeed and said it’s important that he has that support. Conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has said he hopes Obama will fail.
“I love my country a lot more than I love politics,” Bush said.
The invitation-only event titled a “Conversation with George W. Bush” attracted close to 2,000 guests, who paid US$3,100 per table.
Bush received two standing ovations from the crowd predominantly of businesspeople.
Bush said he would write a book that would ask people to consider what they would do if they had to protect the US as president.
“It’s going to be [about] the 12 toughest decisions I had to make,” he said. “I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian [sic] voice saying exactly what happened.”
Bush didn’t specify what the 12 hardest decisions were, but said Iraq was better off without Saddam Hussein.