Former President G. W. Bush, appearing loose, relaxed and a bit sunburned, addressed a crowd in Erie, PA last night. This is his second speech in the U.S. since leaving the White House...and there were no metal detectors. See some speech highlights below.
The way I decided to address the problem was twofold: One, use every technique and tool within the law to bring terrorists to justice before they strike again," he said, adding that the country needs to stay on offense, not defense. On Guantanamo, which while in office Mr. Bush said he wanted to close, the former president was diplomatic.
I told you I'm not going to criticize my successor," he said. "I'll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don't believe that -- persuasion isn't going to work. Therapy isn't going to cause terrorists to change their mind.About the War on Terror
...he called the current war against terrorism an "ideological conflict," asserting that in the long term, the United States needs to press freedom and democracy in corners across the world.About Iranian Elections:
Clearly, there's a level of frustration on the Iranian streets," Mr. Bush said. "It looks like it's not a very fair election.About the Bank Bailouts
I am told, 'If you do not move strongly, Mr. President, you will be a president overseeing a depression that will ultimately be greater than the Great Depression,'" Mr. Bush said. "I firmly believe it was necessary to put money in our banks to make sure our financial system did not collapse. ... I did not want there to be bread lines, to be a great depression.About the Housing Bubble
We tried to reform" mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, "but couldn't get it through the vested interests on Capitol Hill [before the system broke down].About the Economy:
I know it's going to be the private sector that leads this country out of the current economic times we're in,....you can spend your money better than the government can spend your money.About Prosperity:
Government does not create wealth. The major role for the government is to create an environment where people take risks to expand the job rate in the United States,About Health Care:
There are a lot of ways to remedy the situation without nationalizing health care," Mr. Bush said. "I worry about encouraging the government to replace the private sector when it comes to providing insurance for health care.The evening was attended by business owners at the Erie Convention Center. The most expensive tables extracted $1500 a plate from the enthusiastic and often cheering crowd. He told some new stories and talked about everyday life where a red traffic light was a "first" in fourteen years. There is much more. Read it at the Washington Times. It is good to hear Bush defending himself and his administration. In doing so, he defends us (Conservatives) as well. It's about time, and along with many others, I wish it had started long ago. Graphic: Official Presidential Portrait hanging in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery