Laura Bush: Bush's Presidency was not a Failure
Washington - Laura Bush disagrees with critics who call the presidency of George W. Bush a failure.
"I know it's not, and so I don't really feel like I need to respond to people that view it that way," she said in an interview that aired Sunday. "I think history will judge and we'll see later."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took a similar view in a separate interview. "I think generations pretty soon are going to start to thank this president for what he's done. This generation will," she said
She noted that, while on his watch, the US toppled Saddam Hussein and liberated millions of people in Afghanistan and Iraq from oppressive governments. She highlighted his work to provide treatment for AIDS and malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. She said he responded to the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks in a way that has kept the country safe.
In her interview, Laura Bush called the shoe-throwing incident in Baghdad an "assault." She said that while the president laughed it off when an Iraqi reporter threw his shoes at him during a news conference earlier this month in Iraq, she was not amused. "He wasn't hurt. He's very quick. As you know, he's a natural athlete and ducked it. But on the other hand, it is an assault. And I think it should be treated that way. And I think people should think of it that way."
On the other hand, she said the incident reflects change in Iraq. "As bad as the incident is, in my view, it is a sign that Iraqis feel a lot freer to express themselves," she said.