Bush on Ken Lay: He Was ‘A Good Guy’

Yesterday, Larry King asked President Bush about his reactions to the death of Ken Lay. While President Bush said he was “disappointed…he betrayed the trust of shareholders,” he described Lay as “a good guy.” Watch it:



KING: The death of Ken Lay.

G. BUSH: Yes, yes.

KING: I know he was your friend. How do you feel? Were you shocked?

G. BUSH: I was. I was very surprised. You know, just — my hope is that his heart was right with the Lord, and I feel real sorry for his wife. She’s had a rough go, and she’s now here on earth to bear the burdens of losing her husband, a man she loved.

KING: Was that whole thing, the whole Enron story shocking to you?

G. BUSH: Yes, yes.

KING: Because, I mean, you knew him pretty well from Texas, right?

G. BUSH: Pretty well, pretty well. I knew him. I got to know him. This — people don’t believe this, but he actually supported Ann Richards in the ’94 campaign.

KING: She told me that.

G. BUSH: She did?

KING: She liked him a lot.

G. BUSH: Yes, he’s a good guy. And so what I did — then did was we had a business council, and I kept him on as the chairman of the business council. And, you know, got to know him and got to see him in action.

One of the things I respected him for was he was such a contributor to Houston’s civil society. He was a generous person. I’m disappointed that there was this — he betrayed the trust of shareholders, but…

KING: Did you know him well, Mrs. Bush?

L. BUSH: I knew him. Not really well, but I did know him.

KING: Did you know his wife?

L. BUSH: And I know Linda and I’m sorry for her.

KING: Did you contact her?

L. BUSH: I haven’t.

G. BUSH: I haven’t yet. I’m going to write her a letter at some point in time.