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Monday, July 8, 2013

Bush and Obama in Africa

 On his meeting with Obama:
KARL:  What did you talk about when the cameras weren't rolling?
BUSH: What a big pain the press is.
KARL: You probably agreed entirely on that.
BUSH: We just chatted about his trip. He's at the end of the trip. I remember how tired I used to get. I said, you got to be kind of worn out, he said, I had a great trip, looking forward to getting back home. And I asked him about his girls, were they having a good time? He said, you bet, because I remember bringing our daughters on some of these trips and how meaningful it was to be with them. And we didn't sit around hashing out policy.
KARL: Did you talk to him? Not much at all?
BUSH: No, not really. He's busy. And I'm retired.

On his own work in Africa:
BUSH: We (Obama and I) both represent a great country. People admire America. And Africans are thrilled with the idea that American taxpayers funded programs that save lives.
KARL (voice-over): One of those programs, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, which President Bush signed into law 10 years ago is now celebrating a remarkable milestone. One million African babies born HIV-free, thanks to programs preventing mother-to-child transmission. Another 7 million with HIV are getting the drugs they need to survive.
OBAMA: I think this is one of his crowning commitments. Because of the commitment of the Bush administration and the American people, millions of people's lives have been saved.
KARL: President Obama said this is one of your crowning achievements. Do you agree with that?
BUSH: That's nice of him. I view it as an achievement of American generosity. And it has been an extraordinarily successful program. And I was honored to be a part of it.
One reason we're in Africa is because we have found out and discovered that women are dying of cervical cancer. They have been saved from HIV through antiretroviral drugs, yet they're dying of cervical cancer. We think it's needless, and we're trying to do something about it.
KARL: Why Africa? I mean was there a moment where this clicked for you? You visited earlier.
BUSH: There was a moment because I was the president of the most powerful, rich nation and a pandemic was destroying an entire generation. And I thought it would be morally shameful not to act.
KARL: How important is Africa to your husband's legacy?
LAURA BUSH: I think it's very important. I think it's really important for people to know that the generosity of the American taxpayer has saved lives here. And that now seven million people are on anti-retroviral drugs and are living full, productive lives. They can contribute to their economy. They are not leaving orphans like what happened earlier in the big pandemic. I think it's, I think Americans should feel great about it.

On Obama's lack of concern for Africa:
KARL: President Obama has been criticized by those who say he hasn't done as much for Africa as you did. That he's neglected Africa. Is that a bad rap?
BUSH: President Obama cares deeply about ... people on the continent of Africa. All I can tell you is that the State Department under his leadership and under Secretary Clinton has been incredibly helpful in our efforts to deal with cervical cancer. It doesn't surprise me that presidents get criticized.

On Gay Marriage:
KARL: I saw a journalist in Zambia asked you about gay marriage and whether it is compatible with Christian values. And you had an interesting response.
BUSH: I shouldn't be taking a speck out of somebody else's eye when I have a log in my own.
BUSH: I meant that I'm not going to answer the question then and I'm not going to answer it now in terms of the political question about whether or not, I just don't want to weigh back in the debate. I'm out of politics.
But I meant it's very important for people not to be overly critical of someone else until you've examined your own heart.

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