At groundbreaking ceremony in Dallas for the George W. Bush Presidential Center today, former Vice President Dick Cheney said “history is beginning to come around” to a more positive view of former President George W. Bush.
Cheney said that Mr. Bush, whose approval rating upon leaving office was just 22 percent, always understood that “judgments are a little more measured” with the passage of time. He added that Americans “can tell a decent, goodhearted stand up guy when they see him.”
Cheney lauded Mr. Bush as a president who refused “to put on airs,” stating that he was thrilled to find that the most powerful person he knew was “among the least pretentious.” He said Mr. Bush was someone who could “walk with kings, yet keep the common touch,” added that “there were no affectations about him at all – he treats everyone as an equal.”
He spoke admiringly of Mr. Bush’s actions in the wake of the Sept. 11th attacks, telling the former president that “because you were determined to throw back the enemy, we did not suffer another 9/11 or something even worse.”
Cheney, who (unlike Mr. Bush) has been a vocal critic of President Obama, also took a shot at the current administration. Speaking of his expectation that construction would move quickly on the presidential center following the groundbreaking, Cheney quipped that “this may be the only shovel ready project in America.” The reference was to the Obama-supported stimulus package that Republicans have criticized as ineffective.