President Bush — in contrast to Dick Cheney — has insisted that President Obama “deserves my silence.” Yesterday, in his largest domestic speech since leaving office, however, Bush would not rule out whether Obama is a socialist, saying that “people are waiting to see what all this means.” In the same breath, Bush defended his own massive intervention in the financial system:
He strongly defended his Troubled Asset Relief Program as crucial to preventing capital markets from freezing up, which he said would have led to another Great Depression. He noted that he remains “a free market guy.”
Bush was asked what he thinks about conservative pundits who claim the Obama administration’s fiscal policies are opening the door to socialism. “I’ve heard talk about that,” he said. “I think the verdict is out. I think people are waiting to see what all this means.”
“I didn’t like it when a former president criticized me, so therefore I am not going to criticize my successor. I wish him all the best,” Bush said.
Note to Bush: the correct use of the phrase is “the jury is out,” not “the verdict is out.”