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May 29th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Feelings toward former President Bush softened at all?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While Former Vice President Dick Cheney hasn't been able to keep his mouth shut since leaving office, the former president has been largely silent. Until last night that is.

Former President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush board Marine One following the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Former President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush board Marine One following the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Speaking in Michigan, George W. Bush repeated Cheney's claim that the enhanced interrogation program - what some people call "torture" - was legal and helped get valuable information that prevented more terror attacks... and saved lives.

The former president told the crowd of 2,500 people that after 9-11, he vowed to take quote "whatever steps were necessary to protect you." Bush said after the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he wanted to determine what means were legal to get information from the terror suspect.

Although Bush's message might be similar to Cheney's, the tone is very different. Bush repeatedly insisted that he doesn't want to criticize Pres. Obama and he didn't specifically refer to the debate over the new president's decision to stop using harsh interrogation techniques.

In a departure from how these kind of events were handled before, Bush answered questions directly from the audience for almost an hour – instead of responding to questions that had been submitted ahead of time.

When asked what he wants his legacy to be, Bush said, "The man showed up with a set of principles, and he was unwilling to compromise his soul for the sake of popularity.”

Here’s my question to you: Have your feelings toward former President Bush softened any now that's he's been out of office for four months?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Don writes:
While I do appreciate Mr. Bush keeping quiet and not criticizing President Obama, who is struggling to repair the nation after the 8 disastrous years of Bush-Cheney, my feelings about George W. Bush remain the same: He was an unmitigated disaster for the nation and the world, a total incompetent who did more damage to the U.S. than anything that al Qaeda could have possibly done.

Wilson writes:
I always thought George W. Bush was a fine man. However, he allowed his administration to be overrun by reckless ideologues who cost this country dearly. For that, he deserves all the blame he'll ever get.

Jim writes:
My feelings towards the president haven't had to soften. I agreed with almost all of his policy decisions, and think he did a great job. If I could have voted for him a third time, I would have.

Patricia from Korea writes:
Just as he is unwilling to compromise for the sake of his popularity, I am also unwilling to compromise. No, my opinion has not changed. There are still thousands dead in an unneeded war, he deepened the hatred of the U.S. by allowing torture, and his actions and rhetoric towards North Korea gave them the incentive to build nuclear bombs. THAT is his main legacy and he will have to live with it.

Sam writes:
No, he and Cheney continue to distort the truth. Bush said that his interrogation (torture) program was legal. It was "legal" only because he told his lawyers to say that it was legal. He and Cheney simply bent the law to fit their agenda.

Brian writes:
I'm impressed with the way the former president handled himself in Michigan. This is exactly the tone Ed Rollins was advocating in his column yesterday. We've had enough of the politics of hatred, finger pointing and blame.

J. writes:
I think the only reason our feelings may have "softened" on former President Bush is because he's just that: former.

soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Jim from Gardendale, Alabama

    Jack, I'm not defending George Bush at all for the torturing events but you have to consider the fact that 9/11 was a FIRST for America and I don't believe anyone knew exactly what to do. A knee jerk reaction would be strike back but thank God we didn't do that. Instead, we wound up infringing on the constitution and violating American's rights in numerous ways in a desperate attempt to gather information and avoid another attack. Was this wrong? Yes, but how many others would have done anything different out of fear? As for the reckless spending and borrowing to finance two wars and ignoring what was happening on wall street and the lending institutions, and at the same time giving giant tax breaks YES, I do blame him and the Republicans. Low taxes, two wars, reckless spending and borrowing, comibined with lax regulations and oversight on wall street lead to this mess we are in and the democrats didn't cause it. The Republicans and Bush did.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  2. Arkay, MI

    Jack,

    Yes. Cheney is making Bush look like a statesman. I would have to agree with Bush as "“The man showed up with a set of principles, and he was unwilling to compromise his soul for the sake of popularity.” just that I did not agree with his principles and he compromised his soul not for popularity but to enrich the coffers of his cronies aka 'his base'.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  3. frankie

    Yes. You've got to give him his props for the way he is acting towards the Obama Administration.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  4. mark foster

    our country has sunk so far from the point of respect,integrigity,financially and moral value under the bush administration ,it is difficult to forgive him while in such misery, however as time passes i am sure we will look upon him with less distaste

    May 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  5. Juan E.

    President Bush has indeed kept to his word and not attack President Obama–What the current administration is doing is just taking advantage of former President Bush silence and attacking him knowing that Bush will honor his word and not criticize him.Shame on Obama-

    May 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  6. Stephen in Chambersburg PA

    After eight years of the Bush administration, my feeling approximate the feelings I still carry towards General Abrams after two tours in Viet Nam. Totally wasted and damaging years, that produced nothing and cost us gravely.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  7. JJ , Toronto

    Jack,
    I always believed that President Bush was clumsy but inherently a decent man. His only biggest mistake was to listen to his hawkish VP Dick Cheney

    May 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  8. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    Jack my feelings about former President Bush have not softened at all since he left office. I still continue to consider him to be the worst president that ever held that office in the history of the United States. Likewise my feelings about Dick Cheney have not softened either. I still think they both should be tried as war criminals for the use of torture on detainees and should suffer whatever punishment that process recommends for them. I continue to ask my self how they can both say that they are religious based people when I evaluate the steps they took suposedly in my defense. I would love to be there when they are judged by God upon their arrival in heaven. I do feel sorry though for both of these individuals wives since they have also been treated unfairly by each of these men. I really do not understand how either of them can continue to remain married to either one of them. They have shamed themselves and their families for the rest of their lives.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  9. EvMan

    I'm happy he can no longer screw this county up. God knows Bush/Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld they were good at that. They think they are above the law. WRONG. They also helped KILL and make IRRELEVENT the Republicans... Gotta thank them for that...

    May 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  10. Ron from SF

    No, he will always be an incompetent boob who drove this nation into a ditch of Titanic proportions, which we will be lucky to escape from. I also won’t forget that his arrogance and deceit sent us into the biggest military disaster since the 9th Century, when Antoninus Pius lost an entire Roman Legion by invading Germany. Aside from that, I guess he was…naw—let’s not pussy foot it! He was an unmitigated disaster!!!

    May 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  11. Carolyn in Utah

    No. He is still a idiot, but less dangerous because he is out of office. At least he is consistent – he never accepts responsibility for any of his actions.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  12. Hope - Tucson Arizona

    NO!!!!

    My feeling is he is trying to fade into the background in hope's no one will notice him in the current and upcoming firestorm surrounding his, Cheney's and others who worked with them, actions that have damaged the United States in so many ways.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  13. Bert

    Softened?Hardly a word to be used when relating to bush and Cheney! First of all I include Cheney also when the word Bush is mentioned.I don't believe there was anything soft at all about the Bush/Cheney blunder for 8 years so therefore I find no softness for either of them!
    It is nice that Bush has been low profile since out of office but then again once the strings were cut in november he is no longer Cheneys puppet.We all know who was pulling the strings behind the doors.
    Problem now is Cheney's big mouth.As vice president he was given a free reign by the administration and he continues to put his foot in his mouth.
    I don't think it raises alot of interest though amongst the general public when he blows off his mouth.It is just looked at as more of the same distruction that put the GOP in the hole it is in.
    So softness isn't a word in my vocabulary when it comes to Bush and Cheney!
    I will be best to keep my words to myself as far as there era!

    May 29, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  14. Hello Dolly Llama

    He didn’t do anything as dreadful as, say, oral sex, but, even setting aside the innumerable violations of federal law such as the illegal exposure of Valerie Plame, Bush did violate the first three Articles of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Read on:

    Article I: violating Congress’s prerogatives by lying to them to get us into a war, blackmailing them into funding unnecessary troop deployments, defying subpoenas, using illegal signing statements and administrative actions.

    Article II: perverting the executive branch into a partisan political weapon, illegally prosecuting Democratic politicians and firing Democratic attorneys, directing government offices to spread dishonest political propaganda, failing to uphold Article II responsibilities by keeping or financial system safe or enforcing product safety laws, sending thugs to disrupt officials from counting votes while screaming “don’t count the votes!”, and trying to convert the Vice Presidency into a fourth branch of government with no oversight.

    Article III: violating the prerogatives of the courts by defying orders to preserve emails and concealing evidence.

    Bill of Rights: the Big Ten don’t just apply to citizens. So that brings us to illegal spying and secret prisons and torture, and keeping innocent people behind bars indefinitely.

    And of course the new information regarding torture, rape and sexual assault of prisoners. He's a war criminal, and if he had run any other country hed be in prison.

    And still he remains unpunished.

    So, yeah. I'm still a little steamed.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  15. George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

    NO!
    He has neither been held accountable for his actions/decisions nor apologized.
    I wouldn't care if he was popular if he was right – about ANYTHING

    May 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  16. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    No,they have not changed at all.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  17. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    When hell freezes over, I'll consider changing my feelings for Mr Bush prehabs the worst American President in our country's history. By the way his claim to be so righteous in the speech also makes him a hypocrite, besides a war criminal...

    Central Islip, NY

    May 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  18. Trevor from NorCal

    No, I can honestly say that I may actually be more upset. I think as I hear more and more, I want there to be some way to legally hold him accountable for the state of our Union. Revoke his Presidential Pension and Secret Service detail at a bare minimum, prison is preferred. He's done far too much damage to be forgiving him this soon...if ever.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  19. Jack Martin from Boynton Beach FL

    My feelings haven't changed one iota. I find it difficult at times to rationalize my feelings toward republican friends who voted for him and defended him for eight years. I do feel grateful that I did not vote for him and certainly never defended him or any of his cronies. Hopefully he will just fade away .

    May 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  20. Eric

    Rigid, stupid, badly adviced and psychologically immature, yes. A criminal like Cheney, no.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  21. Kelli, Poughkeepsie, New York

    No. Every day that I hear our new reality-based president speak with calm, knowlegable authority about whatever topic he's talking about, I feel a wave of relief knowing that Bush is gone. Now if only we could say likewise of his VP.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  22. Deb (New York)

    I still feel the president was one of the worst ever. That being said, I have to commend him for his behavior since leaving office. Perhaps some of his colleagues should take lessons from him.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  23. kimtravels

    I think President Bush is very smart with the way he is handling his post-presidency. President Bush left with poor approval ratings while President Obama is currently holding a steady, impressive rating. By trying to show he is being the bigger man (compared to Cheney who just jabbers away) he's lightening his image and makes it easier for me (a once avid Bush opponent) to see him in a better light. This is a huge contrast to that yappering Cheney who makes me dislike him and his method of defending his reputation more and more every day. However, I am probably more inclined to forgive President Bush because I have always believed that Cheney was the real one calling the shots during the Bush Administration.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  24. Tom from Boston

    Actions speak louder than words, Jack, and Bush's actions speak for themselves. He was one of the worst presidents in this nation's history and he's just spitting in the wind if he thinks his words are going to change that fact.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  25. obama victim

    well................since Obama had adopted so many of Bush' policies..........either Ole George was not so bad.................or Obama is just as bad................

    May 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  26. Barbara in NC

    My mind is still open on this one – I'll let you know after the war crimes trial for Bush and Cheney, and after they are punished for their transgressions against humanity in general.

    Be patient, Jack.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  27. The Broker.

    Why would it need to? He was just a man doing his job. Telling the truth as it was expected.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  28. emma, San Jose

    The catastrophic reign of George W Bush cannot be forgotten. He was doing some things right before he left office, but there was no way to redo the things that caused harm to Americans financially and through loss of soldiers' lives.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  29. Aneesh, Monmouth Junction, NJ

    Not at all. Bush had nearly crippled our country through his lies and same old rants. To me, he will always be one of the Worst Presidents of the US.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  30. Jay

    They have always been soft. He seems like the next door neighbor who got elected president and than realized he was in over his head. I agree that he came and left office with established principles.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  31. Charles in Lawrence, NJ

    I felt sorry for Bush after 9/11, although he should have known, he didn’t sign up for that, but the way he won the office was a problem. Like Reagan 29 years ago, at the podium with Billy Graham, Bush used the likes of Ralph Read and Pat Robertson to play the Christians like a fiddle. Another atrocity by Islam because of the Israeli ‘occupation’ is inevitable and Bush will come out ‘smelling like a rose’, with “I told you so”, what a shame. Keep a grudge to keep out the next hypocrite, fight crime and not theology, the crusades are over.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  32. Mark in OKC

    Unlike YOU, Jack, Most Americans never had "hard" feelings toward former President Bush. He did the best he could and that's all ANY President can do...including our present leader.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  33. Jacob

    Yeah, my feelings have softened a little bit. There's no point in holding such anger towards the previous President, especially when there are so many other issues. I still think he was a horrible President, but he's right about one thing. He did come in with his principles and nothing changed them, even if they were wrong.

    Jacob – New Jersey

    May 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  34. lynn from brevard nc

    While I still strongly disagree with Bush's actions, after recently viewing the movie "W" I now pity him as a man.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  35. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: In a word: no. It's actually getting worse as we hear about the deceptiions that he allowed Cheney to circulate.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  36. T.J. Windsor, CO

    No, the only good memories that I had of GWB over the last 4 months were no memories at all!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  37. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    My feelings about the former President have not changed. I still see him as a man of strong convictions, strong faith, and good heart. For as good of a man as he has become, he is still one of the worst Presidents the US has ever had. His faith was misguided. He trusted friends and advisors whose interests were not for America, but for Party and for Ideology. The most heinous crimes have been committed with the best of intentions. It is not the character of a good man for which George Bush will be remembered, but for the error of his judgment, which from the highest office had the greatest impact and was so, so, so sorrowfully wrong.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  38. Ron in Oregon

    Softened? Yeah, kind of like how the detainees at Abu Graihb were
    'softened up', my feelings toward George Dubya Bush will softened when he submits himself to water-boarding in order to show that it's not toture.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  39. NANCY M.- Colorado

    They would have if he and his administration hadn't done so much damage to our country. The only saving grace, if there is one, is that the country has awakened to the fact that we cannot continue on the track of the last 8 years and longer which has led us down the path of wanton spending, no saving, and free rein to the greedy.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  40. Lesa, TN

    Yeah Jack,

    Actually my feelings have softened a little because lately Dick Cheney has clearly shown that he was the undercover leader during their reign in the White House.

    I fault President Bush for letting him have too much power. And now he doesn't know how to let the power go.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  41. Lance Schumacher

    Jack, I don't need my feelings "softened". I am, and always have been a fan of President Bush, in spite of the continuious assaults by the leftist media and the socialist democrats. Sure he made some mistakes, however, all the nation's financial woes were and are being caused by the Democrats. Everyone tries so hard to lay this on Bush, but the long term policies were placed into law by Democrats (Clinton for instance), and the Democrats have been in control of Congress for the past 3 years and THEY are the ones that control the nation's financial policy. Obama and this Congress have done more in 4 months to ruin this nation's financial health than ALL the previous administrations combined.
    Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    May 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  42. Mandy, Birmingham, AL

    I feel even more strongly that he was a pathetic little pawn, used as a front for the Cheney reign. He never was the brightest light in the harbor, but he did as he was told and really believes that history will vindicate him.

    History will, however, show him to be a war criminal, just like Cheney and the others in that administration.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  43. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    No. He's STILL lying to cover his butt. The line about being "unwilling to compromise his soul" is the same ol' same ol' coming from him.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  44. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    He's like the intellectually handicapped people he executed in Texas. He doesn't have the mental capacity to know war crimes from responsible behavior. I couldn't see it before, though a friend of mine argued for years that Bush was the Jethro Bodine of the White House, a foul up full of good intentions. My feelings have definitely softened.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  45. Cecil

    My feelings toward President Bush have become harder since he left office. Each month more of the negative legacy of the past 8 years becomes more clear and damage done is shown to be more profound.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  46. emma

    No, let the last adm. just go away!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  47. William Courtland

    I never really held a sense of animosity toward him.

    You can not blame a President for attempting to serve a government totally overrun by the party system.

    The Presidents should never take so much stress and responsibility: the people are meant to run the government via the legislative branch of Congress, but as Congress has not expanded for more than two hundred years: so it lost touch with the people: this was the designed intent of the Parties.

    So while I hold animosity for most parties... I watch CPAC the Canadian version of C-SPAN, and it is a constaint work of party verse party in the statements, during question period, and in most other dealings in the House of Parliament. It is the same in the United States Congress: when they convene the politics is completely self defeating: they do not work together to get anything done: they just bicker back and forth for what party did what and who was responsible... Pssst... they are all responsible: but in the party system they lose that burden: so have a release to loose the facts of how to properly run a peoples democracy.

    While the Governor General in Canada is the only person who can remove the Parties with political order: the people of the United States are responsible for that task: and they will not because they do not have and understanding of how it should be or how it could be better when returned to the proper method and so changed back to the expectation of a peoples government.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  48. Julie from California

    Yes, Jack. I've gone from thinking George Bush was the worst president in U.S. history to wondering if he might be tied for last with Millard Fillmore.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  49. hari, San Carlos, CA

    my admiration and gratitude for President Bush for keeping my family safe has not softned at all.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  50. CM

    The human race will never forget the atrocities commited by Bush and his cronies. Cheney and Limbaugh keep making it worse daily. They're sinking faster than the Titanic.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  51. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, after what he did to my country, even if he begged forgiveness and I gave it to him I still would not change my opinion of him. I don't hate him, as some Conservatives seem to hate Democrats, but I can't respect him or honor him. Sorry, but this is not something to change your mind about.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  52. nancy from so cal

    in a word, NO NO NO NO!!!! and it never will.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  53. Peter, KC

    If anything, Obama's in-your-face media coverage, not Bush's absence, is what has softened feelings of him. I fondly remember when the president didn't run for reelection starting on January 20th.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  54. Barbara in Las Vegas

    Well certainly focus has been taken off of former Pres. GWB as his lackey, Cheney, has hogged the spotlight of late, digging that GOP hole just a little bit deeper. Still, it was Bush who originally put shootin' Dick Cheney in that VP spot and it is Bush who has sat quietly by until now before speaking up any. Feelings softened? Only insomuch as I can go to sleep at night knowing that a more qualified President/VP team are at the controls now.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  55. Ralph Santillo Cape Coral, Fl.

    Out of sight! Out of mind! but my opinion is still the same. He was a loser and still is. He and the rest of that gang should have to move to Gitmo until it's closed, then we'll see how fast they agree to the shut down. Oh yeah, bring Rush there too, he can entertain them

    May 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  56. Ariel R in NY

    Nope.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  57. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Not at all. Furthermore, I believe this is just another ploy to get another Bush (Jeb) into office. Enough already

    May 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  58. Benjamin in D.C.

    Bush's newfound sense of mild humility is refreshing but you can't apologize for the havoc he's wrecked upon us.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  59. radhikaknayak

    No, I still think he was one of the worst presidents ever.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  60. Lane from Nashville

    My feelings for GWB haven't softened as much as my 401K, my IRA, my home value, my economic prospects...

    May 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  61. Jamal St. Petersbug, FL

    Yeah, probably because I know he do no more harm than he already has.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  62. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    I never blamed W for all this mess. Cheney was the puppetmaster in this fiasco not George. I've always felt a little sorry for the man. He is obviously not real smart and was taken advantage of by Cheney.
    Where my feelings have changed is about Cheney. He needs to be muzzled.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  63. Mary from Houston, tx

    Jack, Absolutely NOT.
    Bush/Cheney No buck stopped there, unwilling to admit mistakes, just like those that voted for them.
    Softening of feelings why, are we still suffering the Iraq war for oil, and cheney's crony contracts? While the troops not electrocuted by KBR, or poisoned by Halliburton or injured or maimed for bush's oil are still suffering, bush/cheney the most corrupt and worst administration in US history.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  64. Donna Callies

    No.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  65. Zack Canton Michigan

    Yes, it’s kind of like in high school, when one year you hated a teacher, then the next you like the teacher.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  66. Don Cooper

    While I do appreciate Mr. Bush keeping quiet and offering no criticism of President Obama, who is struggling to repair the nation after the eight disastrous years of Bush-Cheney, my feelings about George W. Bush remain the same: He was an unmitigated disaster for the nation and the world, a total incompetent who did more damage to the United States than anything that al-Qaeda could have possibly done.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  67. Albert

    No – revelations of misconduct and mis-statements have enhanced my negative feelings about W and his administration.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  68. Larry in Florida

    GW is a "proud" C student.
    The twin towers fell during his watch, and he went after Afghanistan instead of Saudi Arabia, where the majority of the hijackers came from.

    Yeah, he's one to be remembered in American History.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  69. Linda Thomas

    Nope. So much consequential damage of such depth and magnitude was done to this country under his leadership - can't imagine anything changing making my revusion go squishy in the future.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  70. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    anyone applauding a simple sentence...tells you a lot about all the simple minds!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  71. ray from brooklyn

    after eight long years i finally have something to agree with the former president on,he's glad to be out of the white house and so am i.as long as none of the rest of the bushies seeks our country's highest office EVER;and he can get chaney to shutup i'm willing to let bygones be bygones. time heals all wounds

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  72. Wilson

    I always thought George W. Bush was a fine man. However, he allowed his administration to be overrun by reckless ideologues who cost this country dearly. For that, he deserves all the blame he'll ever get.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  73. Lynn Woodstock NY

    No, of course not...he still was, and is, the most destructive president we have ever known and we must not permit him to rewrite history...I lived it, didn't you?...so must he.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  74. Daniel Christian

    No Jack, The damage that man had done to this country is unforgiveable.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  75. Karen - Missouri

    Just because Bushy is hiding low...absolutely NOT softened. As a matter of fact, it's even worse knowing that Cheney was Bush's puppet master and Bush allowed it. Bush didn't have principles...he was being the Republican puppet as usual.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  76. Vijay

    GWB was not a bad guy; but was only surrounded by so many of them. People disliked him because of the company he had. Maybe my feelings are a bit less harsh than when he was in office.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  77. Stonesdoug

    My feelings haven't changed- PT Barnum came back to life and led a lot of Americans to believe that a man who bankrupted an oil company, bankrupted a baseball team and almost bankrupted a state would be perfect to be president of the US- one born every minute

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  78. Jon-Ross

    Sadly, the college community that I am associated with was completely PRO-BAMA, simply because he was 'hip' and the uneducated political beings around campus, could understand him.

    After being in office now for a few months, and Bush gone – nobody follows President Obama's current actions, and more often than not, there is quite the complaints. I thought I didn't like Bush in office, but I'd much rather have him now, after seeing the 'change' that we as a country voted for.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  79. J. Harris

    I think the only reason our feelings may have "softened" on former President Bush is because he's just that: former.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  80. Chris in Sacramento

    Good lord, no.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  81. matthew

    I didn't like what he did in office, but I forgive Bush since he seems to have come to terms with reality. Too bad Cheney couldn't do the same. kudos for Bush, too bad he couldn't have been this wise while in office.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  82. Barbara

    Time can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. No change. Barbara Victoria, Blairsville, GA

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  83. Craig

    No my feelings remain the same. George W. Bush was the worst president in my opinion that this country has seen in a long time. He still takes pride in an unjust war and uses his faith and fear tactics as an excuse. This country will takes years to repair from the economic damage he did while in office.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  84. Joel from Cherry Hill, NJ

    I've had many, many fewer negative thoughts about the former President since he's left DC. Time flies, doesn't it?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  85. peter g logue

    No Jack, my feelings for Bush have not changed.....and I have over 4000 reasons why! (the American dead in Iraq)

    May 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  86. Becky

    Yes, I think he was easily influenced by Cheney and the CIA both of whom would stretch the truth or out right lie.

    Becky

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  87. dave

    Yes I really had problems with his policies but since he has been out of office he has been a class act.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  88. steve , dana point , ca.

    Jack ;
    Your kidding ... right ?
    steve
    dana point , ca

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  89. David Sisters OR

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder Jack????I dont think so–he was a boob then and he's a boob now.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  90. Katherine

    Bush is a joke, Obama is doing his best to clean up Bushes mess. I will remember Bush as being the worst president in my life time.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  91. Greg

    Jack, I feel sorry Bush, sorry that he was never impeached, and sorry he was never kicked out of office. If he is looking for sympathy then he will always have Dick, and Condi.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  92. joseph sciarro

    Come on Jack. Has the world's feelings about Hitler and other murderous dictators softened after decades have passed?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  93. cindy-San Francisco

    NOT A CHANCE!!!!! I don't know if we will ever recover from the last 8 years. Over 20,000 US soldiers wounded, over 200,000 Iraqis killed, countless wounded, and over 4,000 U.S. troops killed. Busy, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld should hide forever.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  94. Roger - Dallas

    That's an easy one Jack, in a word "NO"!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  95. Eric Krueger--Clovis, Calif.

    My feelings toward George W. Bush have hardened: He is a war criminal who in an earlier age would have found himself on trial at Nuremburg. (By the way, he and his neocons also wrecked our economy with their policy of "privatize, deregulate."

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  96. Dave Holmes

    No Jack, and my feelings toward Hitler haven't gotten any better either.
    I still think he lied to get us in a war and I still think torture is wrong (and doesn't work). I'll never forget or forgive all the lies!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  97. William

    No, No & NO

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  98. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    After all the damage he has caused? Absolutely NOT!...Not one little bit!

    We are still trying to repair what BUSHCO has already done, and it takes a while, and they had 8 years to do it in!!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  99. vic hughson

    Easy question for the "decider" How many times has he attended church since leaving office?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  100. Larry

    Yes Jack,
    what Bush did for Africa and others in need is often lost. He was way over his head and his biggest mistake is those he chose for his inner circle like Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove.
    I am convinced if his staff said Mr. President we really need to land in New Orleans he would have done so.
    Other than Powell those in his inner circle are Cretins.

    Larry
    Florida.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  101. Chris

    No way. Personally I don't think he was a bad person but has to be the worst president of my Lifetime.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  102. martina pickett

    Cottonwood Arizona

    Has my feelings softened?
    NO
    All the issues Obama and the world is dealing with right now is directly related to him. If anything the more I find out about what was being done and the public not told I am more upset at him.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  103. Atlanta

    No not changed at all, just happy he is not in charge anymore and can't do more harm to this country

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  104. Diane Ghil

    His final statement was his legacy – he was unwilling to listen to anyone around him. He did not have enough intelligence to stand on any ideals and showed his stupidity by never wavering. Those were not principles, they were ideologies that meant nothing and were ignorant.
    I definitely have not softened my opinion of this incompetent. The only thing that may be more evident now is that Cheney was running the baffoon around by the necktie. We thought so but now we know so. I think Cheney was told to lead this ignoramous around to make him look somewhat intelligent.
    The two should be tried for war crimes.
    I am from Huntsville, Alabama.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  105. Delilah from VA

    No Way do I feel any sorrow for Bush. It is because of him that I have no job, being the educated professional that I am! Our country is in a mess because of him, and how can anyone feel soft towards him!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  106. Scott Famulare

    Bellevue, OH

    No my feelings have not softened towards our former president. He put us back 8 years on global warming issue, he ruined the United States image abroad, he ruined our economy. I don't think I will have a good thing to say about Bush jr. until there is a professional sports team in Badhdad or Kabaul.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  107. James Richmond Virginia

    You must be kidding! I will view Bush and his henchmen with disgust and contempt forever!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  108. HurtByOutsourcing

    No my opinion has not softened. It will When Cheney Rumsfeld and
    Bush are held to the same Laws/Standards as everyone else and
    prosecuted.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  109. Larry L, Torrance, CA

    Absolutely NOT! He actually sold his soul (and the nation) to the devil. The real devil is the 'religious right' which is neither religious nor right on most matter.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  110. Greywolf

    No. George W. Bush is a war criminal, as are other members of his administration, and like the Nurenberg trials after WWII the current administration out to allow a thorough investigation of them with prosecution and prison for those found guilty. George W. Bush was the worst president ever for what he did to our freedoms and for his conduct of an illegal and immoral war in Iraq.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  111. Johnathan L

    Jack

    You're kidding me right? I've had 8 years of suffering that I won't get back cause of his so called policies. No way will I ever have any sympathy for our former President.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  112. Mel Grove

    No, my feelings have not softened. I will always remember that he and his crew were responsible for destroying our way of life with their policies.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  113. Richard from Catalina Island

    My feelings toward Bush have only softened microscopically because he's actually out of office. The mess he left by how he ran the war and economy and just about everything else will be felt by our grandchildren and beyond.

    Richard
    Catalina Island

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  114. Brendan in Phoenix

    My feelings have softened towards President Bush ever since Obama won the election. His insistence on remaining silent about his successor as well as his attempts to make the transition between the two smooth convinces me that he is a principled gentleman who got manipulated by Cheney, Rove, and the rest of them into making poor decisions for America.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  115. Cheryl Jensen

    No my feelings toward Bush haven't softened. Torture is only one issue. Look at the economic crisis! Look at how many jobs were lost while was president. I remember a reporter asking Bush about signs of a recession. If looks could have killed, the reporter would have been dead. He was/is ignorant and he was a "do nothing" president. We are in an awful mess because of him. There is no reason to give him any kind of a "pass."

    Cheryl Jensen, Bethlehem, NH

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  116. Ronald

    My feelings have softened slightly; not because of what he did, after all he did authorize torture. But I do respect that he has choose not to degrade to challenging every policy just to challenge it (just as a certain vice president has been doing).

    Ronald
    Columbus, Ohio

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  117. jarrod

    Jack , Bush is lyk Nixon you knew he was bad for the U.S. and tyen you found out he was worst.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  118. Cheryl Knoxville

    I think everyone will at some point realize that he did his best as "he" saw it. The same will be true for Obama and for whomever comes after him. All of these men think that they know what is best for America. The problem is that they never listen, really listen, to what America is saying.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  119. Pat from Michigan

    No, I'll always remember him for the smug, goofy grin as he did whatever the hell he wanted and not what the Country wanted or needed. The man lied to the entire world and got us into a war that took the lives of many good men and women. He would be wise to slink back into his hole in Texas before someone decides what he did in office was criminal.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  120. David, Greenville, SC

    In the last four months, my opinions and feelings towards President GW Bush have actually firmed up and strengthen. I have felt for a long time that as time views the W Presidency history will show how bad it really was.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  121. Sandy Floyd

    No, Jack, my feelings haven't softened toward former Pres GW Bush. The damage he did to our country will never be reversed. We live with it every single day.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  122. Ted in Knoxville

    Jack, the dust is still settling from the last eight years. We still can't see clearly everything that the Bush/Cheney regime did.

    I suspect it will take 10 years to really know the real damage done by that administration. Over the next 4 years, we'll start to find out more of what actually happened.

    So... NO, no softened feelings. Check back in 10 years.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  123. Dale Elam

    When I see both "W" and Cheney in prison stripes, my feelings will change. I will then feel justified instead of just done in.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  124. Anne

    No my feelings about George Bush haven't softened. He was the worst president we ever had – right there in the same category of Richard Nixon...Ann/North Olmsted, Ohio

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  125. James

    Why would I soften my position against a guy that left us with the weakest economy since the Great Depression? Why would I soften on a guy who took his eye off of Bin Laden and invaded Iraq on bogus reasons? Why would I soften on a guy that took advantage of a scared public and took away basic American liberties. He was the worst President of my lifetime and hopefully will always remain so. I don't think we could survive somebody worse.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  126. Sara in Minneapolis

    Eff, no! The man was only topped by his second-in-command as a menace to the honor and prosperity of our country, not to mention to our credibility and integrity as a nation.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  127. Curtis Dunn

    Jack not only n9t softened but while I see this country going down farther I feel Bush and Chenney both should be thrown in prison. Neither one of them cares about this country or its citizens. Only power and money is front and formost with the two of them .. I just heard Tom Delay make a comment and she also should be in prison cause he stepped down to stop prosicution of his actions.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  128. Teero McSan

    Not a bit. He's a shill of a man, not a leader of men. Cheney still sets the stage and Bush just mouths the words. Political puppets and puppeteers - who needs 'em?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  129. Rebecca

    ABOLUTELY NOT! My feelings toward George W. Bush remain the same. He is keeping quiet because he does not want to make any ripples for his brother, former Governor of Florida, when he makes a run for the White House in the future. There is always a reason, always a plan – don't be so gullible Jack!! George W. is still as far to the right as he always has been.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  130. William Rogers

    I wonder if the lives saved by torture (if any), exceed those that have been lost and will be lost in the future by those Muslim countries that have been Radicalized against us by the revelation of Guantanamo's prisoners treatment or Al Gareb's debacle into having Fun with their Inmates??

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  131. T in the Big D-Dallas TX

    Heck no! Jack given the serious state the country was in before Bush left and until Obama assumed office, the Bush administration did nothing. Heck Obama has accomplished more in the last 100 or so days than the Bush regime did in the last two years! I don't see why folks are even listening to the nut jobs like Limbaugh and Cheney.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  132. Terry D - CT

    I still feel that W was the most destructive president in the history of the US. It will take years for the country to recover from the damage he did to the US in our own country and in the world.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  133. Ken in NC

    My feelings of him as our President have not softened and I'm glad he is out of office but I am respectful of his continued silence. I think it has been an honorable thing for him to do so considering all the ugly things that have been said about him.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  134. Ashoka8350

    Nothing will change opinion about George Bush in spite he likes to go in history as a strong willed president for the good

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  135. Ed Kos

    Jack,
    Showing the bias of your audience a little bit here? I have not softened on Bush, because he doesn't need it. He protected us for 8 years – period. Lots of blame given to Bush for a lot of issues, bottom line is there is a lot of blame to go around – Dem and repub. Bush was and is an Honorable man.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  136. Andrea in Raleigh, NC

    My feelings softened? Not really. I can't help but think that when Bush's term was up, he left a large pile of dog waste at Obama's front door, set it ablaze, and ran away. According to George, there's been quite a bit of poop scooping now that he doesn't live at the White House. I can't think of a better job!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  137. charles sykes

    President Bush's former stewardship of America looks better with each passing day. The collapse of California, New Jersey and other Democrat fiefdoms shows the structural incoherence of the Democrats' perennial reliance on taxes, fees, and surcharges. If Bush was still in office, North Korean and Iran would be much less bellicose.... with no teleprompter needed.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  138. Linda in Arizona

    NO! Not one iota. I want him and cheney and everyone high up in their war criminal administration investigated, prosecuted, found guilty of war crimes, and imprisoned for life. So, I would have to say my feelings for this destroyer of our Constitution have not softened one tiny bit. He and cheney are worried they're going to be prosecuted for their crimes, so they're out trashing the president. Who's next? The war criminal rummy? Oh, and legacy? ROFL. There's only one possibility: "WORST PRESIDENT EVER!"

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  139. Char

    My feelings toward the former president are still hard. My heart goes out to the families of the service men and women who lost their lives and limbs because of his unnecessary war. Now he languishes in Dallas in his mansion and collects millions of dollars for speeches and other perks. What a travesty.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  140. Jeffrey Barker

    Jack –
    The real question should be: do our feelings for any lying, torturing, arrogant supposed leader get better merely because he or she happens to no longer hold office? What in the world has he done to atone for his high crimes and misdemeanors? His primary sidekick continues to hold forth that nothing they did was even questionable. The only possible improvement is our relief that he can no longer abuse the office was entrusted with.
    Jeffrey Barker
    Tallahassee

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  141. Emma, San Luis Obispo, CA

    NO! Jack not one bit. For years Bush lied to the American people when he said over and over, "We do not torture" He is a war criminal, just like the majority of his administration is. The only way my feelings will "soften" for Bush is when I see him in handcuffs along with Cheney, Rove, Rice, Wolfowitz, Gonzalez and all the others I can't name now carted off to the Supermax prison in Colorado. Bush was a disgrace to the office of President of the United States.......no sympathy for cowboy leadership, his way or the highway........let us not soon forget!!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  142. damion

    its crazy that president bush endorse dick cheny for torturing that's crazy

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  143. Michael Bauch

    My feelings have not changed toward former President Bush. I considered him unqualified to lead during the 2000 campaign, when he won an illegitimate, court-ordred victory, scared the hell out of people in order to win re-election in 2004, and generally made a mess of things while he was president.

    Not hard feelings, just facts.

    Fresh Meadows, New York

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  144. Elaine

    While we owe respect to a former President, including President Bush, I would just like to know how much is his percentage of responsibility in the economic mess we are in right now. Elaine from New Jersey

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  145. paul coke

    NO! Eight years that left our country in a mess, a war based on fake evidence, blood on his hands, did what he was elected to do, make sure his rich corporate buds got richer. forgive or forget, rather forget.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  146. Mike Warren

    My feelings about Bush II have not changed at all. I am very glad he has left office. He may have gotten a standing ovation for saying that he "refused to comprise his principles and sell his soul", but don't forget the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and now we are trying, through Obama, to divert our path from this same created road to hell. It is not going to be easy, and we have no one to blame except President George W Bush.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  147. ben jackson

    My feelings toward mr. bush have been the same ever since his claim of being a "compassionate conservative" had no bearing on his denying carla faye tuckers plea for her life in texas when she claimed she had found jesus while on texas' death row. Mr bush should answer this question: "do you still feel, after all the death and destruction, that invading iraq was the right thing to do"? Jack, do you think this man even understands the position he has put this country in?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  148. NoCoDad

    No they haven't. The fact is, the man deceived us into a war of conquest in Iraq. He allowed the predators in the petroleum and finance industries to feed on us at will. He betrayed the very foundations of of our Constitution with the Patriot Act. The legacy of the George W. Bush administration, who I like to refer to as "Ali Dubya and his Forty Thieves", is one of betrayal, corruption and ultimately treason as evidenced by the whole Valerie Plame incident. George w. Bush and his whole cabinet should be in prison. Why don't we send him to Guantanamo since he likes the place so much.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  149. Abby, Scottsdale

    No. And they won't soften until the people who died because of his arrogance and immaturity start walking among the living.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  150. Patricia Bitz

    I always felt a tug to support Pres Bush. I did not realize why until he was leaving office. His policies protected life and the fundamental priniciples of what the country stands for. This became apparent when learning Pres Obama's stance on respect life issues. I would like thank Pres Bush for his protective policies. I firmly believe that unless we protect life, family and religion, we will fail as a nation.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  151. Anne

    No they have not softened...he did much damage to us worldwide while he was in office.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  152. Tracey from MO

    Not even a little bit. GW Bush is either completely negligent or a war criminal. He got us into a war we should never have been in thousands of deaths. He allowed torture. He failed with our economy. He ignored Global Warming. He blurred the lines between Church and State. He took so many vacations that he may as well have never shown up.

    There is no softening of feelings toward such an incompetent person.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  153. dojohn

    My feelings have always been soft towards Bush unlike his hypocritical stance on torture. What makes us different from the terrorist now? Wasn't this country founded by what we would now claim as domestic terrorists? How subjective is the word terrorist?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  154. Mr Dean n Seattle

    softened? you bet..
    sent this guy to gitmo-take away his retirement and cancel his government paid health care. then deport him to Iraq.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  155. Kenith.J.Bolston

    Yes i feel G.W. has been a statesmen as far as his attitude after his administration. I also think G.W had sharks around him when he was just a little fish.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  156. Don

    Softened? NO! In fact, in light of all we have learned about how 9/11 came about, Abu Graib, torture etc. etc. my feelings have hardened. I believe he should be tried for crimes against humanity. That' won't happened, so George, go hide in your "ranch" and let us try to forget and overcome your 8 years of the worst presidency in history.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  157. Rich

    Yes, softened quite a bit, and prior to leaving office, I had fully backed him while he was in office.

    We, the general public do not have the full depth of information on situations like the President has. We base our opinions on what we see in the news, while the President not only has to deal with more information, and sensitive information, but has to temper his responses to placate the American People as well as the world.... Tough decisions, tougher job... I have full respect for President Bush, and have even more respect for him now that he is out of office.
    He has kept us safe, and has held a high standard for the world to see. I am fully behind him, before and after his term as President.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  158. PMS

    In the case of Bush, abscence does not make the heart grow fonder. We must never forget that he got us into this terrible situation in the first place and he should not be allowed to whitewash his legacy

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  159. Barb from Hazel Crest, IL

    Yes it has. I have since transferred by harden feeling from Bush to Cheney. I now understand that Bush let Cheney run everything and by the time he realizes that Cheney was wrong it was at the end of his term and to late to correct all of the problems. That is why Cheney is out there defending their administration.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  160. Mark Luster

    Jack, have your feelings toward Stalin or Pol Pot changed over time? Exactly (Notice how I didn't make a Hitler reference; don't want to be unfair). He did what he did. Never going to like it.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  161. nafa .ca

    he's out of office but the consequences of his policies are still our biggest problems so lets wait for president obama to fix them and then probably start thinking about changing our feeling toward w

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  162. Tom Mcmahon

    My position regrding former President Bush has not softened one bit.
    He and Cheney are culpable for numurous crimes against the people of the United States and should be tried in a court of law for their transgressions and if found guilty sentenced to the maximun penalty.
    We are watching helplessly as we are shown another example of biased based on who you are or were means the law applies differently for the rich or famous as for the rest of us just throw us in jail for any crime.

    tom mcmahon
    millis ma
    tommic856@verizon.net

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  163. Gloria

    No my feelings have not softened for President Bush, maybe they will soften when he and Cheney admit that sending our troops to Iraq was a huge mistake, thousands of families have seen their hearts broken.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  164. Kim-Ha Albert

    My opinion of George W. Bush remain unchanged–he should stand trial for the massive intelligence failure which occured on his watch because he was too goody-goody with his Saudi friends, he usurped and undermined the U.S. Constitution, put American soldiers, Marines, Naval & Air Force personnel in harms way without listening to the U.N. Inspectors–his rush to war caused America to borrow from the Chinese, and our economy is STILL in free-fall because of his bumbling, incompetent, & woefully undemocratic actions.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  165. Rich

    Jack, How can our feelings toward George Bush soften, when the American people are living in the gutter, the economic crisis has lessen, and people our becoming jobless everyday, while he is living happy as ever, he cares about the people of the united states just like when he was in office. The only thing he's worried about is making enough money for his library, if he cared he would use it as a homelss shelter and feed people.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  166. Bruce Culp

    As a republican that was glad to see a change of parties in the WH, I firmly believe that even I will soften my feelings towards his Presidency

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  167. Brendan

    Wow...I think after four months you'd be done bashing Bush. Why don't you turn your attention to the current administration, rather than trying to continue vilifying the guys who aren't in charge anymore? Turn your oh-so-critical eye towards Obama now. He's in charge now, after all, isn't he? Or is the Obama presidency going to be nothing but "Bush sucked" as far as the media is concerned?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  168. Angie

    I lost respect for him when he got us into two wars, deregulated banking institutions, instituted "No Child Left Behind", which by the way leaves children behind, and tortured our enemies, my feelings towards him has not changed. I wish I never voted for him when he ran for Govenor of Texas.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  169. dale robson

    My feelings have not changed. The grinning, smirking fool is out of office and is relatively harmless now. His cronies continue to blow stupidity and I am sure he will increase his. My only hope is he has not destoyed this country beyond repair.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  170. Joy From Texas

    No, they haven't . Just hearing something he says brings back all the bad memories. His governing with his right wing religious beliefs almost ruined this ctry. He appointed Pat Robertson graduates to important posts that they had no experience and no knowledge to do. I say "Bush" set down and shut up you've done enough.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  171. Texas-ex Democrat(since yesterday)

    I was very upset with the economic situation which developed during GWB's terms, but the 4 month cure of the present powers is far more upsetting. Maybe the guy was doing his best and kept the lid on things better than we thought. At least I wasn't sure what a trillion was during his 8 years.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  172. Sandy

    yeah my feelings have changed for Bush in the past 4 months, just as much as our feelings for Hilter have changed in the past 60 years! Zip!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  173. johnchristopher Saskatchewan

    Yeah, but only because I'm not filled with trepidation and anguish when someone NOW says, "Ladies and Gentlemen, The President of the United States!"

    My feelings about what hell the man conjured up while he was in office has not changed. Mr. Bush is a male version of Lady McBeth, no matter what whitewash or cleanser he uses the blood will not come off his hands.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  174. Annie, Atlanta

    That’s not possible. We may never recover from his incompetence. He took away our futures, and those of our kids, with an “I could care less” approach.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  175. Tree

    The former Bush administration should be incarcerated, for crimes against the constitution, and against humanity. The Bush administration lobbied and manipulated the public to search for hidden weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, North Korea continued their development of nuclear weapons right under Cheney's nose. Deceit should never be justified.
    This country should not rest until the Bush administration is brought to justice.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  176. glenn

    Hey Jack!!
    I am retired air force ( vietnam era ) and I say I did not beleive in toture then and I don't beleive in it now. No I have not softened about bush at all. Lets ask cheny to go to the taliban and see if he comes back a changed man!!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  177. oz Gig Harbor WA

    Softened? I'm still waiting for Ari Fleisher to disclose just where those Weapons of Mass Destruction are...Remember they didn't want to "compromise our sources"?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  178. Vincent

    absolutely not. We were lied to and bought into it out of "patriotism"..or "fear" so we were told. Personally, I called it from day 1. Their personal agenda
    was shadowed by the facts.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  179. Mike T.

    I actually like George W. Bush as a person, but did not like what his administration did to the country and I blame Dick Cheney for most if not all of it.
    Bush was given bad advice on invading Iraq by the people surrounding him and ignored his own Father's advice. Cheney and Rumsfeld thought it would be so easy to go into Iraq and get Saddam and the oil. If only Bush would have stuck with getting the people who actually attacked the US he would have left office with a higher approval rating and a better mark on history.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  180. Gayle

    Having had the opportunity to observe a president who is brilliant, engaged, cool, classy, capable, and able to adjust policy as new information is received, the contrast with Bush is STARTLING.
    Have my views of Bush softened? Nope...sorry dude, but you look even worse now that your successor has shown the us how it's really done!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  181. Charles Battaglia

    Jack , Bush and Cheney were bumbs then and they are bumbs now.they should never should have been selected in 2000 and elected in 2004.They should both be arrested and sent to jail.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  182. Fred Fenton

    Have my feelings changed toward former President Bush, who caused the injury and death of thousands of innocent people by his rash, unprincipled rush into war with Iraq? You have to be kidding! He was one of the worst presidents in U.S. history.

    Fred Fenton
    Concord, California

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  183. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    No I have not change my mind, There are still people every day dying because of him.Our troops are still being killed. They are still going overseas and don't know if they are coming back. He is proud of that?????Check Walter Reed and see how many of our troops will never walk.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  184. John in L.A.

    Softened my feelings, Jack? That would mean I'd softened my feelings about him refusing briefings about terrorism from Richard Clarke until it was too late.

    It would mean forgettting about his negligence during Hurricane Katrina .

    It would mean forgetting about WMDs that never were....a 2003 "Mission Accomplished" photo op in flight suit....a new U.S. foreign policy of bombing a country that did nothing to us.

    It would mean forgetting about how Bush ignored the Constitution, imprisoned people (many innocent of wrongdoing) indefinitely, without representation or trial.

    It would mean forgetting about the US torturing people–and lying about it.

    It would mean forgetting about over 4,000 Americans and over 100,000 Iraqi civilians that died in Bush's war of false pretenses.

    It would mean forgetting about Hank Paulson and TARP and bailing out companies that didn't need it while others went under.

    It would mean forgetting that, thanks to Bush and his corporate cronies, I lost half my retirement do to Republican "deregulation" and perks for Paulson's Wall Street buddies.

    Have I softened toward him, Jack?

    Not on your life.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  185. sandy bismarck nd

    NO WAY!!!! And if the republicians run another Bush for president
    it better be "buyer beware"--how come under Bush 1 and Bush 2
    the stock market went down????? That ought to be reason
    enough to stay clear of the Bushes.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  186. Gary, New Jersey

    No Jack they haven’t. I am a former United States Marine and served two tours in Iraq for the man. Now that I have been out since 2006 I have not had a job that makes more then ten dollars an hour and have been turned down for the other seven law enforcement jobs I have been interviewed for. Everything was getting better until my local police department did not hire me or any others due to lack of funds. Now I am unemployed. I will dislike the man till the day I day!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  187. Miata94M

    Of course not. He may be gone but I'll never be able to forget what he's done to us.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  188. Pete

    Not at alll, Jack. He is the same puppet for Rove and Cheney that he has always been – he's probably still being told how to handle himself in public-!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  189. Bruce Culp

    as the future unfolds... he is a good man, with a good heart, but was a little too stubborn!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  190. Steve from Portland

    Are you kidding me, we're still cleaning up the mess he left behind! His unwillingness to "compromise" is the reason were in this mess to begin with. In my opinion, he will still go down in history as one of America's WORST presidents.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  191. Michael Edwards

    Have my feelings softened toward Dubba? He has been out of office for 4 months. I have been out of work for 9 months. Do the math

    Michael Edwards
    Atlanta GA

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  192. Tommy in San Diego

    Softened? ABSOLUTELY NOT. He allowed the oil companies and banks to rip us off and now we're paying the price. Let's not forget 9/11 happened on George Bush's watch, and he got us into the mess we're cleaning up today.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  193. Keefe in Florida

    Jack,

    I think the country's feelings about G.W. Bush is largely irrelevant, I think history should be the judge of that.

    I also think that G.W. Bush violated the Geneva Conventions solely out of response to Sept 11th.

    Most Americans would agree that the Iraq War is a war without merit. G.W. Bush should be prosecuted as a war criminal.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  194. Bruce - Ontario, CA

    Ask me after I get another job, the value of my home returns, and my retirement account makes up the losses, that is assuming I can get a job soon so I don't lose my home and use up my retirement account beforehand. But Jack – Bush, Cheney and the GOP don't need my soften views to get what they deserve from historians for their work when they were in power.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  195. June

    Not one bit! He may be out of office (thank God), but we are still in the war that he started and our soldiers are still being put into their coffins. And all thanks to you, GWBush.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  196. Will- Charlotte, NC

    All I can say is I have not missed him. No, not one bit.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  197. Phyllis L. Reed

    I believe that both Cheney and Bush are out on the trail to protect themselves. They knew ahead of time what interrogation techniques were outlawed by both the Geneva Conventions, the Army Manual, and by the record of our own prosecution of others who engaged in waterboarding. Knowing that they pushed for harsh techniques in order to get al Qaeda prisoners, not to protect our country, but to make the false link between Saddam and 9/11, you have to stand up on behalf of all who have died and been wounded because of a lie.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  198. John

    The company I work for has declared bankruptcy, I am behind on my house payment, I can't pay my credit card bills. Yes, my feelings toward him have softened, to the point that the same situation should become of him too.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  199. Mitch Dworkin

    The answer is "No." Bush being "unwilling to compromise" (which is a code word for his stubbornness in my opinion) is what has caused this country economic and foreign policy problems that will probably take years to fix if they even can be fixed. Both Bush and Cheney need to just stay out of Obama's way and go into the history books which will not be very kind to them!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  200. Mike

    Jack,

    Of course my feelings haven't changed. I want a standing ovation too, because I have stuck with my principals, no matter what public opinion.

    I still believe torture is a moral crime, as well as a legal one.

    I still believe we should rescue fellow Americans after a natural disaster.

    I still believe that politics don't belong in the Justice Dept.

    I still believe in the rule of law.

    Hell, call me old fashion, but I still believe Americans should not be spied on, or told who they can marry or not marry. I gues I believe in that old thing we used to call the constitution.

    Hell no my feelings haven't changed. The man belongs behind bars with others that have twice the decency.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    Mike/California

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  201. David Scantland - Frankfort, Indiana

    EX-President Bush should take his CHILD, Cheney and go away and shut up!
    You've done your damage, now go away and allow us to get done repairing that which you and your punk child have done to this country!
    SHUT UP and GO AWAY!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  202. Annie Beckett

    Now that he's an ex President, he's no longer a threat to my country's well being, so sure, my feelings have softened. But my opinion hasn't changed. Undoubtedly he was principled, but just as love is not enough in a parent, principle is not enough in a President. Intelligence, discernment, judgment and leadership are imperative in the leader of the free world. Now, thank god, we have the whole package.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  203. John Hulse

    He lied to our troops. Bottom line. The one group you never lie to is our warriors. He will rank at the very bottom of all our presidents. He helped leave a giant mess that will take a generation to clean up. The economy he left us is a disaster. Katrina was a disaster. He was a disaster. The only thing that he helped us with was humor. It was eight years of some of the best comedy ever. We can all be thankful for that.

    Did I mention, he thought it was good thing to torture and to publish the name of an American undercover C.I.A. agent? How would you feel about an American president who did all that?

    John Hulse
    Anderson, Indiana

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  204. Keven

    If anything my anger has strengthened since more of the illegality of Bush administration practices and policies have come to light. We cannot allow the precidents of The Bush administration stand. Our nation deserves justice for itself. Prosecute these criminals for the corruption they have brought to our executive branch and restore liberty to our republic.

    Keven, Red Bank, NJ

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  205. michael

    When George Bush apologizes to the world after being convicted of war crimes at the Hague, perhaps my image of him will soften just a bit.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  206. Elaine

    Most of my friends say NO to this question.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  207. Betty

    No!
    As more is revealed about that lethal combination of ignorance, arrogance and malevolence that hallmarked his regime; and as we hear so much of the negative being continued by his supporters, we are relieved that he is no longer at the helm, but softened? No! NEVER!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  208. Hop in Tehachapi, Ca

    George has at his center a black hole where no light escapes and all truth and honor is devoured. He exists for one purpose, to suck the life from others. This petulant, pampered, pompous, pusillanimous, perfidious, prince of privilege, posing as Pontius Pilate has destroyed my country.

    For me to forgive him for that is next to impossible. Let the investigations begin into the entire dark side of the Publican Party and their designer wars for profit..

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  209. Chris D

    Have my feelings softened toward George W. Bush? Not no way, not no how. Nobody forced him to be president, he worked hard to get there. While he was there he did what he has done in every other endeavor - he failed catastrophically, and cost other people lots of money.

    George Bush has done more harm to the United States than any other elected official in history. We'll probably never repair the damage he did to the rule of law. He presided over the largest transfer of wealth from the US citizenry into the hands of a select few. But worst of all... He approved and condoned torture. Whatever moral ground we had to stand on before him, we now have to face the world and say that we torture people, we torture people, we torture people. That's your tax dollars at work.

    I will never soften toward George Bush.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  210. Jeff, Boston

    Jack,

    The President got railroaded. He went into a war with bad intel. Period. That intel came from several countries, including our own. We now know that Saddam himself was responsible for some of that bad intel, in an attempt to scare Iran. The truth is, he made a decision, and is responsibe for the outcomes. For that he is guilty of going into a bad war. But, he is not the devil that many have portrayed him to be. He is a man with ideals, who tried to stick to them. Unfortunately those ideals did not make for a good President. I think eventually, people will realize he is not the devil, and his public opinion will soften. And that is what we are seeing today.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  211. Marilyn Sheppard

    I never did think George Bush was the problem. He was a puppet for Cheney and Rove, the evil ones, who couldn't wait to go to war. They were the ones that made 9/11 possible so they would have an excuse for war..

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  212. Cindy Sizemore

    Absolutely not! We suffered under G-dub for 8 long years! It is going to take this country a long time to undo the damage he and Cheney did.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  213. Daniel in WI

    No, absolutely not.

    I'm appalled that there are 2 sets of laws in the US. One for the common man and one for the elites.

    Bush allowed the financial system to come to near collapse and the elites get bailed out. Bush oversaw if not out right ordered torture and no one is getting taken to task for it except those few bad apples at the bottom who were following orders.

    Were are his law and order principles? Why is it he gets to be weak on crime and no one points that out?

    My feelings are much stronger about how terrible a president he was and a man is.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  214. Scott in Seattle

    My feelings about President Bush have softened quite a bit, as it has become obvious that VP Cheney was the source of the viciousness in the last 8 years.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  215. Ed

    As far as I'm concerned the President should leave "His Principles" at the door. The President works for the American People and the only "Principles" he should consider are the ones articulated in the Constitution and the concept of "Rule of Law"

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  216. Michael R. Bitner

    No, The country still suffers from the effects of his one blunder after another, leading up too the mess we find ourselves in now. Hope we don't see the likes of him again.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  217. Owen D King

    The further we get away from the Bush years, the more apparent the damage to the world , done from his "convictions" is! His failure to acknowledge his culpability is amazing! History will not be so kind as the media have been to this sorry excuse for leadership.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  218. Margaret Halbe

    Are you kidding!!! He tangled up and nearly ruined everything he touched. He brought this country to the brink of disaster on so many fronts especially economically. He took us to war with Iraq to vindicate his father's name. I saw every bit of this coming the day he took (stole) the presidency. The agony is that thousands have died for his self righteousness. I'm not surprised that he's proud of what he has done.

    I think he should be waterboarded with Dick Cheyney next in line. I hank God that WE THE PEOPLE have taken their country back.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  219. Mike from Sachse

    No! No! No! Hell no!. Former President Bush, contrary to what said recently, did not arrive with principles - he took office with arrogance and a mission to please his dad. He is correct about not popular or even liked.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  220. Bryan

    NO! Bush and Cheney should be imprisoned for war crimes! Bush is one of the most incompetent men to ever become president. That incompetence combined with a neocon ideology has resulted in the most tragic and damaging presidencies ever!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  221. Myrna

    On the contrary, my views toward him have become even more harsh than when he was in office. His incompetence, lack of a broad vision and inability to motivate, inspire or make people feel empowered have left the US and the rest of the world in a free fall that has done unparalleled damage to our economic and financial systems. His smugness and lack of understanding of other cultures has made the world less safe and he escalated terror in the world. We have yet to uncover all the effects of his tenure as president of the United States.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  222. Rich, DE

    Not really. I didn't think Bush was a bad guy nor did I think he was immoral, but let's face it, he wasn't that smart was he. He let Dick Cheney influence his decisions too much. I suspect that Halliburton made Cheney a lot of money as we fought the "war on terror".

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  223. Gayle - Columbus OH

    Having had the opportunity to observe a president who is brilliant, engaged, cool, classy, capable, and able to adjust policy as new information is received, the contrast with Bush is STARTLING.
    Have my views of Bush softened? Nope…sorry dude, but you look even worse now that your successor has shown us how it’s really done!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  224. Scotty "H" in Wisconsin

    Its hard to remember anything good about Ex-pres. Bush with the constent bashing of him from day 1. He kept my family and counntry safe during his term. He increased Aids research. He had beliefs that got him into office and kept them throughout his tenure. He will be remembered better later down the road. He made mistakes but all presidents have. Its how you react to them that defines the man.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  225. David in New Hampshire

    Have my feelings towards Bush softened? Are you kidding? Bush,Cheney and Rumsfeld virtually ruined this country and should be tried for war crimes. I'd pay good money to be the one turning the key to lock them in their jail cells for the rest of their miserable lives.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  226. Tim, Delaware

    Are you kidding me!? No way have my feelings softened one bit towards George Bush. Even though it's become even more apparent that he was merely a puppet for Cheyney, Rumsfeld and their cronies, that doesn't mean that he now deserves to get a pass in the court of public opinion. I pray that history books accurately portray the atrocities of Bush's administration so that no one ever forgets how he ran this country into the ground.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  227. laurence kirk

    now we know where putin got the idea about being prime minister

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  228. Chi Town

    Truman was hated when he left office... ranked worst.

    50 years later he's in the top ten... so only time will tell.

    Considering Obama hasn't changed anything... Iraq, moving more into Afghan, not closing GITMO now.... well... what has changed.

    PS: 1n 2006 we had the largest GNP in US history, 255,000 new jobs in the third quarter alone, and the highest DOW/S&P500 in US history... the only thing that changed was the democrats winning congress... 24 months later... all gone

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  229. Dorothy, NY PALIN/BUSH 2010 (not anothe BUSH)

    Lance from CA:
    I assume it is Obama fault Calafonia is in the shape it is in. No money, terrible politics. Bush and the Republicans did a GREAT job in the lase 8 years so I am quite sure You and The people in CA are the Happiest poeple in the World.
    Good Luck Buddy you are where you should be with Bush help (Laugh)

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  230. vic hughson

    Let bygones be bygones. He and Dick should take some time off and go quail hunting.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  231. Sherri--Illinois

    No they have not Jack! Probably wouldn't soften until after President Obama's 2nd TERM, when the country will be out of this horrible Recession, millions of Americans will be employed again, our Troops will be out of Iraq & Afghanistan, back home with their families again, and President Obama will be leaving to the NEW Democratic President, a SURPLUS instead of a deficit. It will take some time to erase the pass 8yrs of the Bush/Cheney tenure.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  232. glenn from taos

    I never disliked Bush the person, but i disagreed profoundly with his policies. And his defense of those policies yesterday mean that he still supports torture, rendition, and the denial of constitutional rights to Americans.

    I have thought for years now that he is a war criminal of immense magnitude, and nothing I have seen, since he left office has moderated that feeling.

    He should be investigated, charged and tried for his crimes. And when obama stands in the way of that, he is abetting a war criminal.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  233. Jay IN Lakewood CA.

    How can we as a poeple expect the President of the United states solve all of the problems that the country and of that matter the world faces be it Pres Bush Or Obama?
    President Bush did the very best that he could given the circumstances, although most of the policies that he and his coharts inacted I am against. But if I were in his shoes I would take a very hard look at what the situation was and look at it from his perspective and try to rationalize why he did what he did.
    Reminds me of what my mother once told me,believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  234. Kevin in Portland

    Have my feelings softened? Are victims of his arrorgance and incompetence from New Orleans to Najef any less dead?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  235. Mark From Chester County, PA

    Perhaps my thoughts of George W. Bush have softened with regard to his humanity, but I will never stop believing that his administration was nothing but a disaster. He is nothing but a towl-snapping, frat boy, without a lick of sense or any depth of knowledge and understanding about the diversity that is our world. He and his cronies got richer on all of us, and did not care about our future. He was taught well at the feet of me-first, greedy country clubbers, and hopefully the White House taught him something about the world.As for Dick Cheney, however, he is evil incarnate, and I would be more than happy to see him put in prison for the rest of his life.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  236. Douglas Brochier

    I truley believe believe that dubya has a false sense of reality. And that he exists in a bubble that echo's his beliefs, and earnestly belives they are the words from God. Cheney as well I believe is a neo-con and is motivated by the fact that historians will depict the Bush administration as quite possibly the worst and most embarrassing administration in history.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  237. Kevin, Atlanta

    Rush Newt et al do not believe in the american dream.

    Historian and writer James Truslow Adams coined the phrase "American Dream" in his 1931 book Epic of America:

    “ The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.[1]

    May 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  238. Jaime Pieschacon

    After going to this incredible mess he left behind, how can we soften our feelings about George Busch. How can we forget his decision to involve the Country in an unnecessary war with Irak justified just by twisted intelligence and "convenient lies". How can we forget the hundreds of innocent lifes both American and foreign resulting from this absurd war.
    How can we soften our stance after strugling with this economic crisis, the lost of jobs, the housing crisis, the growing unemployment and many other issues resulting from irresponsible goverment.
    Countries deserve the leadership they get mostly when they/we lose our MEMORY. We can't gorget not forgive Bush!!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  239. Bertha in SC

    No. I think he's still so out of touch with reality that it's almost scary.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  240. Josh

    My feelings have not changed. Post-911, he felt he HAD to protect you and I by any means necessary. And he did. There were numerous other terror threats but nothing ever came of them. THAT DOESN'T JUSTIFY breaking international laws, but if you really think about it...what would YOU do if you honestly thought you were protecting your people? (Remember how crazy we all were after 9/11?)

    May 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  241. Boyd, Reedsburg, WI

    While their respective tones in the recent public comments sheds light on who was really "driving the bus," they yet demonstrate that they just don't "get it." They have no clue about what an ideological conflict is, and think that it can all be won with bombs, torture, and fear, which only creates more contempt for America, widens the conflict, and recruits more terrorists to repay us in kind however they can.

    We won the American Revolution, and the North beat us in Vietnam, in spite of each facing clearly superior military force. Bush and Cheney show no grasp of history.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  242. navid ahmadian, MD

    I certainly hope not- we are still fighting the wars he started, stuck in this economy because of his policies,... I hope people do not forget that he is not only the most incompetent president we've ever had, but also a war criminal & he needs to be put on trial for that-

    May 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  243. Barbara Wasenius

    I keep hoping that there is some way both Bush and cheney can be triied for war crimes against humanity,, but apperently nobody with the power to do so has the integrity or inclination to do so.. Our country needs this, but Obama just wishes to forget it. So sad!!!!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  244. Irma

    I do not feel any more "compassion" for ex-president Bush.
    We are in this horrible mess as a result of the 8 years he
    was running this country together. It is beyond me how we will
    ever creep out of it. "Sorry" won't do it.!!!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  245. Brandon Robinson

    Not at all because he refuses to accept responsibility for his decisions. He left this country in a mess and his pride wont let him admit it. I feel as if he has his own personal agendas while he was in office, which is fine, but he put those agendas ahead of the best interest of the country and for that my views will not soften.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  246. Richard

    Jack,
    How can anyone’s opinion of Bush 43 soften when hardly a day goes by without another revelation about how corrupt, incompetent, and amoral he and his administration was. I was surprised to learn that he had the nerve to travel outside the United States since he is considered a war criminal by many nations and runs the risk of being arrested and tried if he leaves the protection of our borders. He may not go down as the worst president in our history but he is way ahead of whomever is in second place.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  247. Betty

    Hi Jack,

    Former President Bush and former Vice-President Cheney are both fighting for their legacies. They would like us to forget how they lied us into an unnecessary war, the bodies floating in the streets of Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina and the near destruction of our economy. Americans would be wise to never forget what these two men have done to this country, so that it never happens again.

    Betty

    May 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  248. Michael from Greenville, NC

    My feelings for Bush will soften when all the innocent people when died in Iraq since the onslaught of 'shock and awe' come back to life and life the full life that was cut short due to CheneyBu$hCo's illegal , immoral, unwise & un-Constitutional "war". By the way, did we ever really declare war? If it was Bush's mission to commit war crimes and spend $5,000 per second, every second since the invasion, oh his folly, then....Mission Accomplished

    May 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  249. Arlene Costa

    No, it's even more apparent that he ignored the Constitution and trashed the values of our nation. We looked like idiots to our allies for the past 8 years and Imperialists to the extremists who needed little reason see us as infidels.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  250. Marty Haber

    Softened? If anything the bitterness and blame only increases with time. Bush's legacy cannot be rehabilitated; he is a man without the possibility of redemption.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  251. Geoff, West Virginia

    Jack,
    Absolutely not. I think I find myself in a rare minority of people whose opinions regarding Bush have actually hardened. I think it is due to the frankness and honesty I feel the current administration is providing the American people. Perhaps, I feel jaded by thinking that this is what we were neglected of in the previous 8 years.
    Sure, Bush may claim he has principles and stood by them, but that is not the main requisite of a good leader. He isolated more than half of the nation with his principles. He was divisive on many issues, refusing to flex. He may call that principled, but I call it just plain stubborn.
    The president's legacy will one forever riddled with error, arrogance, war-mongering, ignorance, and the detriment of our country. Look at how quickly foreign nations have received Obama's administration. They were so desperately desiring a leader who would work with them to help all of our global issues.
    Bush is most certainly entitled to say how he thinks he did as President, but like most of his Presidential decisions, he is very out of touch. Some things will never change!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  252. Donald in CA

    Yes, because he didnt run the White House. Everyone understands now that Cheney ran Bushs program.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  253. Pat W.

    Have my feelings towards Mr. Bush softened? Well yes, if you take into account I am smart enough to know that sustained rage is bad for my own health. Do I think he is any smarter or more honorable than I thought four months ago? Why would I?

    He has damaged this country and brought it to a point of devastation it has not seen in over half a century. He was at the helm when we showed our lowest regard of civil rights for both citizens and non citizens since we put Asian-Americans in internment camps during WWII, and witch-hunted communists at a finger point in the fifties.

    I get tired of people talking about how honorable he is, and blaming the things that were done on the people under him. If he had any idea at all of any of the travesties perpetrated under him, then he is not honorable. If he had no clue about any of it, he is guilty of being an idiot, to the point of criminality. We bear a lot of guilt for allowing it to go on for eight years, but that doesn't mean he bears any less.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  254. Dan Fagan

    Pretty consistent that those who believe in might is right and greed is good do not change thier convictions ever. His ideas and perceptions were wrong then and still wrong now. His actions or lack of actions has put a dagger in the heart of the American dream.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  255. Steve Kokx

    GW's style and personality never sat well with me, but the man knew how to be a President. Meaning, he did what he thought was right and what was needed to protect the American people, even though the result was more often than not a decrease in his popularity. I respect the fact that he hasn't lashed out like Cheney has... my opinion of him has definitely improved.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  256. Happy not to be republican

    When hell freezes over after I have danced on his grave.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  257. Cruz Parris

    No!!!!!! I can still see him looking for WMD under his desk and
    laughing. As a veteran married to a veteran I found that so cruel,
    and the money we lost in our IRA's is not making us laugh either.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  258. C R Blake

    My feelings toward George Bush has not changed. He still has the high integrity he always had.
    The liberals and liberal press including CNN worked for eight years to destroy this man and some day they and you will reluctantly admit it.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  259. Randall

    Bush has probably hurt the US more than any president since Johnson with the Viet Nam War. Our unborn children will be still be hurting for generations. We cannot afford to soften and not learn from his mistakes.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  260. Betty Doerr

    No!! Eight years ago I thought that Bush has a limited intellect. His tenure only re-enforced this feeling. A "C" student should never be president again. Betty from a pioneer Texas family

    May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  261. Jeffry

    My feelings for Bush have not softened. As a gay citizen of this country, it disgusts me that W. Bush used homophobia and a disgraceful proposal for a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, to help win his reelection to the the presidency. He and those in his administration scapegoated oridinary American citizens who just happen to be gay, such as myself. How can gay and lesbian people in this country ever forget the assault and attack that was made against us by Bush?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  262. Boyd, Reedsburg, WI

    Robin Williams nailed it early on: "Ever notice how Bush doesn't talk while Cheney's drinking water?"

    May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  263. James Wilson

    No, my feelings about George Bush have not softened. It is important to remember what he did, because America has to get back to what America stands for: human rights, equality, value for the individual, opportunity, fair justice, little things like that. If we forget his transgressions, we risk losing them again.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  264. John from California

    Yes, my views of George Bush have softened a bit in the last four months. Although I still think he was one of the most disastrous Presidents in American history, George Bush seems to have moved on from the White House gracefully, which is more than can be said for Cheney.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  265. John

    No... because I always believed George W. was a good man, just not the brightest penny in the bag. I also believed he really wanted to do the right things while in office.
    Unfortunately he ended up being much like a puppet who's strings were being pulled by Daddy (George H.), Cheney, Rumsfeld and all the other; "Good Ole-Boys!!"
    I honestly feel somewhat sorry for him, our country and the multi-thousands who have been forced to pay so dearly. Some paid the ultimate price, with their lives.
    Thank God that mentality is no longer with us and change is in the air!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  266. Martha

    Absolutely not. The fact that our nation is finally moving in a different direction does not change the fact that "W" was an abomination. He shredded our constitution and turned governmental administrative agencies that should be protecting American citizens into big business apologists and PR agents. We have a long way to go to restore our good name in the international community all thanks to Bush/Cheney. How many lives did he cause to be sacrificed in Iraq for his own purposes? It's time to move forward, but never, ever forget what he did to us.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  267. Donna

    I live in the area where Bush spoke last night.I'm sure he felt very safe
    in coming here. There's.Many around these parts that are of like thinking.

    Does the far right" sound familiar?
    Donna,
    Michlgan

    May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  268. gene brief

    No way have my feelings softened. The only thng that has softened is my stomach muscles that now , since he has not been seen for several months, do not turn into a knot each time I looked at him.
    8 years of torture, massive federal deficit, Iraq-the list goes on and on.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  269. Joan

    No my feelings of George Bush will NEVER change. When I see him I think of the over 5,000 young soldiers that have lost their life and the thousands maimed in hospitals due to a lie to get us into a war in Iraq. He should be held accountable for his actions. It amazes me how people just gloss over his actions when he appears. There is no justice! He comes on the scene now as if nothing happened while he was president. Give me a break!

    Joan

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  270. Jeff in Minnesota

    While I believe he made mistakes, what human being does not make mistakes? I question whether he recognizes all of his mistakes, but that is also human.

    Have I softened my image of him? Some what, but not as much as I think some people.

    I definitely have not softened my opinion of VP Cheney. If anything, my impression of VP Cheney has gotten worse, not better.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  271. Rita-Massachusetts

    Have my feelings softened.....no, not really. Actually he should never have been elected president. He was not capable. Believe the person who actually ran everything was Cheney and his cohorts who ran rampamt over the Constitution and Bill of Rights to satisfy himself and his cronies. Iraq was not about Sadam Hussein but oil.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  272. jerry fredrickson

    Bush has always seemed like a "nice" guy but easily led by Cheney, Rummy and others. He shows class by sticking to his resolve to not be critical of Obama while Cheney publicly chirps away proving that he[ Cheney] was calling the shots for the past 8 years. Sort of like Jimmy Carter. You can't help but like him but he just didn't get it. jerry fredrickson duluth, Mn

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  273. Rita Fort Collins CO

    I wouldn't say "softened" however I do acknowledge and appreciate the way he conducted the transition of power and the fact that he has kept his mouth shut since. I don't know how much he has to do with the way Cheney keeps blowing off. I happen to think Cheney had more to do with running all of that show than Bush did. I certainly don't trust any one in that administration with the exception of Powell. As far as Bush, I don't think he is evil and it's difficult to hate ignorance.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  274. Kevin St. Joe, MI

    Jack, I still think he will go down in history as the worst President of all time and he makes Nixon look good!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  275. Fred

    I'm glad George Bush Jr. is no longer President..

    He should have concentrated more of his efforts on Pakistan and Afghanistan in getting rid of the Taliban.

    Instead he wasted money, resources, and made families miserable from losing daughters, sons and family members going into Iraq..

    He should be ashamed for the countless lives that were lost in Iraq, for no reason.

    You can tell just by listening too President Obama that he has much more upstairs than President Bush ever did..

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  276. Charlie Phillips

    Not softened a bit. Dumb & wrong are still dumb & wrong. And we'll be suffering the consequences of his administration for a long time to come. The list of poor policy judgements having occurred under his leadership (or lack thereof) would take more than a week of your show's time. And that timeframe is being kind to GW Bush.
    Charlie
    Bridgton, ME

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  277. Sally-Michigan

    Every time I hear about the death of a young U.S. soldier in Iraq I am reminded of the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history illegally initiated by the worst President in American history-George Bush. Do I sound like I'm going "soft"!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  278. Kris Portal

    Not really! How many people after doing such a LOUSY job get a nice pension and chances to earn additional money from speeches or an eventual book deal?

    Worse yet, for George W, who can forget him strutting on the deck of that aircraft carrier with the "Mission Accomplished" banner in the background???

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  279. Louis. C

    Hell no! I don't really care if he is alive, he screw this country so bad that I hope he stays away for ever.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  280. Ron Griggs

    Not at all… Americans like it when our leaders make decisions and stand behind them. When a leader refuses to reverse course when his/her direction clearly is not working they will loose the trust of the country and rightfully so... We are a Pluralistic Society. More than one idea can work.

    Ron Griggs
    Fayetteville AR

    May 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  281. Judy

    Jack,
    I guess they have softened a bit...I now feel he should be afforded an attorney and a fair trial. Cheney can go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.00.
    Judy

    May 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  282. David

    I'll detest the Bush's forever for what they did in 12 years at the White House. Just seeing junior in Michigan on the news today made me shudder! I hope Jeb never gets elected to the Presidency or I may have to move to Bermuda.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  283. bob

    absolutely not! he did too much long lasting harm to both this country and the wider world. superficial graciousness does not compensate for ignorance, arrogance, incompetence, dishonesty, and indifference to the destruction and loss of life that he caused. he deserves prosecution and contempt.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  284. Terry Wood

    Well, the answer is no they haven't.

    I still regard him as the stupidest man ever elected to the Presidency.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  285. Mark Lynch

    While I am not a fan of the Bush Administration, its policies and many of its members, I do believe that President Bush had the best interest of the country in his mind. However, the Vice President and several others in the Administration had extremist views and took advantage of a man whos political views were held too tightly to his religious views as a born again christian. I myself am a christian and also a supporter of the seperation of Church and State. This was not put into our Constitution by the Framers lightly. It was placed in the Constitution of the United States of America because throughout History the joining of religion and politics has been used to controll the masses to make uninformed decisions based upon faith. Secular laws and or political policies should be based upon sound logic and the known facts at hand. Faith should be remanded to the confines of families and congregations of all denominations, be they Muslim, Christian, Judaism or any of the other religions or personal spiritual choices that there are in this world. By taking the side that we are one nation under a Christian God we have polarized the globe in a way that hasn't been seen since the Crusades. The saying goes all things in moderation . . . I'm saying this statement can go towards a man or a nations personal faith, thus the definition of Moderate and Extreme Religious leaders, zealots and followers. One is a good thing promoting certain moral views where as the other sets out to dominate others and bend them to their will, for good or evil.

    Mr Bush, I thank you for your years of service, I do believe you did your best, however that was not nearly good enough. You chose to value the ideals and strategies of your constituants rather than your nation and currently our new more moderate President is cleaning up a mess started by you perhapse in good Faith, but in impractical logical analysis. Thank you all for your time and I hope to see a more moderate America . . . a Stronger America.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  286. Dave From Vancouver

    Bush is a nice guy and meant well: what people have a problem with is his lack of leadership and his tendency to pick close associates rather than the best individuals for his administrative positions.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  287. fred d weaver

    NO Jack Bush said We dont torture that noe that hes not President he say they did torture, He lied about WMD, CIA leak, wire tap, Etc, He lied while he was President and he is still ling. RNC = Rush Newt Channey And they all lie and should be in prison for war crimes!!!!!!

    Oklahoma City

    May 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  288. Rita from Decatur, Georgia

    Simply stated-NO. Come back and ask this question when our economyt is doing better. Maybe by then I'll have softened If anything my feelings have become more entrenched. The longer the mess Bush left behind continues, the harder my feelings toward Bush becomes.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  289. Bryan Brooks

    If anything my feelings about former President Bush are stronger.. The only difference between he and other dictators is that as far as we know he did not torture any American citizens. His "my way or the highway" attitude resembles what many dictators this country has openly opposed and has strived to depose for as long as I can remember. A war crime in the name of democracy is still a war crime.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  290. Jimmie in California

    NO!!!!! Why would my feelings soften toward G.W. Bush?!! As far as I'm concerned he was the WORST President this country has EVER had, and I hope he goes down in history that way. He was the closest thing to a DICTATOR we ever had, and took this country down an unparalleled road to destruction!! He left such a huge mess of everything, that it will
    probably take President Obama his whole term to straighten out!!

    Bush is fantasizing if he thinks he deserves a good legacy! I wish he
    and his crooked cohort (Cheney) would GO AWAY and that we would
    never hear another word out of either of them!!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  291. Valerie - North Carolina

    No. The Bush administration has done so much damage to this country and I will always consider him an incompetent president who should have never held the office. He has left a terrible mess for President Obama to "clean up"! I am totally in favor of looking into and prosecuting the torture done under this president as well as the false information given by this administration to take us to war in Iraq, all the no-bid contracts given to Haliburton, exposing CIA agent Valerie Wilson as well as many other activities by Bush and Cheney that have devistated this country. We can no urge other countries to act decently if we do not do it ourselves.

    Valerie

    May 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  292. Parker in Covington KY

    Jack, how can we soften toward Bush when we're only beginning to feel the post-Bush hangover? Like most people in this situation, we have a hazy memory of neglected families, picking fights and spending all the money, but it would be folly to forget the party caused the whole thing. Sure some of us had a great time, and others will tell us that we had to stand up for ourselves anyway, but to forget the damage the party did to us, our reputation and our families would be just irresponsible. We're human, so we'll be tempted to try that party again, but for now (you and I Know) the best thing to do is put the party out of our minds and concentrate on getting to work repairing our lives and reputations.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  293. Marilyn, Powell Ohio

    I try not to think about George W. Bush at all because it makes my head ache. If Dick Cheney would just crawl back into the hole he hid in for the past eight years the world would be a better place.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  294. Derrick Miles

    I dislike him more than ever.For these reasons Hurricane Katrina,weapons of mass destruction,he built up the Taliban,he screwd up the economy and he is A royal idiot. I say prosecute Bush,Cheney and Carl Rove!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  295. Bill from pa

    Never!Until that whole gang of arrogant, lying, is brought to justice for their war crimes and running this country to near bankruptcy, the populace of the USA should sulk in shame.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  296. Michael

    Jack, Reporters and Commentary are supposed to be at least Neutral. You for one My Friend are Not. Your Liberal bias shows thru.President Bush is sorely missed after the Disaster of Obama and his Foreign Affairs flops One after Another.Obama would show thru in Orwell's 1984,"Our Friends are Our Enemies and Our enemies atre our friends"(Iran and Venezuela to name a few.))_.Both Bush()W)) and Cheney are Right. What, Pin Medels on these terrorist chests and say We are sorry that We Interregated You???How does one get confession from Terrorists???.Obama is the Disaster You should be referring to with the Big Mouth!!!,not Bush nor Cheney!!!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  297. SugarDeuces

    The only thing that has changed is that i can go to sleep knowing that he can no longer continue with his set of principles . Our boys are dying needlessly for them , Not to mention the booming economy. Sadly it appears he will get away with it all.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  298. Brian Krebs

    NO. His stupid actions still effect us.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  299. Billy Strain

    Not at all, Jack. His policies, then and now have been a disaster and time has not changed that so far. Although, I'll give credit where its due, he's let the current administration try to pursue its agenda and let his reputation speak for itself rather than carping from the sidelines the way Dick Cheney is doing.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  300. Richard Campbell

    I could not stand his arrogance while in office and he sure hasn't changed. I would like to see both he and Cheney punished for lying us into a useless war.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |