Bush says OBL mission “good call,” “not overjoyed” at bin Laden death

posted at 11:36 am on May 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

ABC reports on former President George Bush’s first extensive public comments on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.  In a meeting with hedge fund managers in Las Vegas on Wednesday, he gave credit to President Barack Obama for making a “good call” on ordering the mission, and said that bin Laden’s death was a “great victory” but that he didn’t get too caught up in celebration over it:

When asked by forum moderator Melissa Lee of CNBC how he felt upon learning the news, Bush said he was “not overjoyed,” explaining that the campaign to track down the 9/11 mastermind was done not “out of hatred but to exact judgment.”

The development is ultimately a victory for the American people, he said.

“The guy is dead. That is good,” Bush said of bin Laden. “Osama’s death is a great victory in the war on terror. He was held up as a leader.”

“The intelligence services deserve a lot of credit. They built a mosaic of information, piece by piece,” he said, claiming no credit for himself.

In the phone call, Bush said that Obama explained the mission in significant detail after telling him of its success.  He told Obama, “Good call,” on the decision to use the Navy SEALs to complete the mission objective.  He also noted the professionalism and accomplishments of SEAL Team 6 as well as the intelligence work done to track down bin Laden.

None of this is terribly surprising.  Despite being used as this administration’s punching bag for more than two years, and despite the fact that Obama and his team couldn’t summon the graciousness to acknowledge Bush’s efforts as well as their own in tracking down OBL in the hours and days after the mission, Bush has refrained from any public criticism of his successor since leaving office.  Even more or less privately, Bush has remained supportive of Obama’s efforts on the war on terror.

Good for him, and let’s hope a few people learn lessons from Bush’s example.


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When asked by forum moderator Melissa Lee of CNBC how he felt upon learning the news, Bush said he was “not overjoyed,” explaining that the campaign to track down the 9/11 mastermind was done not “out of hatred but to exact judgment.”

This explanation I can accept. Not the “he’s a human being” relativistic tripe.

MadisonConservative on May 13, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Obama is a little man when placed side by side with our 43rd President.

WordsMatter on May 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Say what you will about this mans time in office, but he is pure class!

Indy82 on May 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Man I miss that guy.

angryed on May 13, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Bush has refrained from any public criticism of his successor since leaving office.

It’s called “class”…….and something that Barry will NEVER have.

GarandFan on May 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM

He told Obama, “Good call,” on the decision to use the Navy SEALs to complete the mission objective.

That’s more credit than Obama’s received ’round these parts. W. is a decent person.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I have disagreed with a LOT of what W did in office…but I have never doubted the man’s integrity and class. He held (and still continues to do so) the office of the Presidency with respect, unlike the A-Hole we are currently stuck with.

search4truth on May 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM

I miss President Bush and Laura so much! Both had class and the WH was ‘the peoples house’ when they were there. bho and mo have zero class and made the wh a laughing stock here in America and around the world.
L

letget on May 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Humble as always. I’m curious if he’ll ever publicly defend enhanced interrogations. He can do that without it being an attack on Obama(although the press will portray it as such).

Doughboy on May 13, 2011 at 11:43 AM

He also noted the professionalism and accomplishments of SEAL Team 6 as well as the intelligence work done to track down bin Laden.

Absolutely. Very strong work by those folks.

ted c on May 13, 2011 at 11:43 AM

But he didn’t say gutsy. :)

“People who do not look like us want freedom just as much. The relatives of [former Secretary of State]Condoleezza Rice over 100 years ago wanted freedom. It is only when you do not have hope in a society that you join a suicide bomber team.”

Come on. He has to know this is bs. Young well educated Muslims in Western Countries are trying to blow crap up. This is about ideology, not oppression.

Rocks on May 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Ha! Democrats never learn these lessons. They are generally bereft of ideas, so they fall back on criticizing their predecessors or those who follow them. They can’t help themselves.

George H.W. Bush refrained from any comment on national affairs until the summer of 1996, and refused to campaign with Bob Dole. Bill Clinton waited about 5 minutes before he started criticizing George W. Bush, and appeared many times on behalf of John Kerry in 2004.

rockmom on May 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Classy guy.

ted c on May 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Obama is a little man when placed side by side with our 43rd President.

WordsMatter on May 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Agreed. I’ve always been a little amused that the left tried to paint Bush as a bumbling fool for so long. The man has two things completely foreign to Obama: Charm and humility.

Jewels on May 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM

…and the WH was ‘the peoples house’ when they were there…

letget on May 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM

And now, it’s the house of Common.

Fallon on May 13, 2011 at 11:47 AM

He told Obama, “Good call,” on the decision to use the Navy SEALs to complete the mission objective.

That’s more credit than Obama’s received ’round these parts. W. is a decent person.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I absolutely love how the only manner in which the troll give any humanity at all the George Bush is when they think he bowing to Obama.

PS, you ignored a LOT of comments here that gave credit to Obama. They didn’t fit the meme for your debate though I suppose.

George Bush is several times the man, that Obama will ever hope to be.

hawkdriver on May 13, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Bush doesn’t have a Nobel. Without that, he is a warmonger.
The logic is pretty clear.

a capella on May 13, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Lets try that again…

“I absolutely love how the only manner in which the trolls give any humanity at all to George Bush is when they think he’s bowing to Obama.”

hawkdriver on May 13, 2011 at 11:50 AM

In addition to President Bush’s class, there’s another practical consideration.

If he’d ever made the kinds of comments that Obama does – highlighted in Krauthammer’s Demagoguery 101 column today – the MSM would have raked him over the coals repeatedly and continually.

Bush would have been labeled divisive, unpresidential, guilty of with-us-or-against thinking, etc. The MSM wouldn’t have let Bush get away with it. Obama on the other hand…

Drained Brain on May 13, 2011 at 11:51 AM

President Bush has the classy self-confidence, he doesn’t have to blow his own horn. On the other hand the current president makes it a point to trash President Bush as if that elevates him to the same degree of integrity.

fourdeucer on May 13, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Good for him, and let’s hope a few people learn lessons from Bush’s example.

It won’t…

“I absolutely love how the only manner in which the trolls give any humanity at all to George Bush is when they think he’s bowing to Obama.”

hawkdriver on May 13, 2011 at 11:50 AM

That may be true, but in this case, he was standing taller than Obama…

right2bright on May 13, 2011 at 11:56 AM

explaining that the campaign to track down the 9/11 mastermind was done not “out of hatred but to exact judgment.”

A fitting response. Also, I might add, a proper Christian response for all those who seem to think it’s somehow antithetical to our faith to rejoice in justice being properly administered.

Bee on May 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Good for him, and let’s hope a few people learn lessons from Bush’s example

Don’t hold your breath. They are what they are. Only a fool expects a Tiger to become a dog. Sooner or later, you will be mauled.

TheBigOldDog on May 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Bush would have been labeled divisive, unpresidential, guilty of with-us-or-against thinking, etc. The MSM wouldn’t have let Bush get away with it. Obama on the other hand…

Drained Brain on May 13, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Perhaps, but that is not the reason he is doing it, he is doing it because that is the right thing to do…he has been in those shoes, and he is not a vindictive man.
Notice how Carter, Clinton both have backed away from their critique? He set a standard back to where it belongs.

right2bright on May 13, 2011 at 11:59 AM

I absolutely love how the only manner in which the troll give any humanity at all the George Bush is when they think he bowing to Obama.

All you need is love.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Perhaps, but that is not the reason he is doing it, he is doing it because that is the right thing to do…he has been in those shoes, and he is not a vindictive man.
Notice how Carter, Clinton both have backed away from their critique? He set a standard back to where it belongs.

right2bright on May 13, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Yes; however, my point was what would have happened if Bush had engaged in Obama’s style of demagoguery during his own Presidency.

The MSM will typically label Obama’s comments as “went on the offensive.” If Bush had ever said them they’d be labeled simply as “offensive.”

Drained Brain on May 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

All you need is love.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I love your guy too. He uses the Bush tools and policies well.

hawkdriver on May 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

I don’t care, Obama is awesome.

Youngs98 on May 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Bush = class.
Obama= no class

TulsAmerican on May 13, 2011 at 12:06 PM

A fitting response. Also, I might add, a proper Christian response for all those who seem to think it’s somehow antithetical to our faith to rejoice in justice being properly administered.

Bee on May 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Great point Bee.

hawkdriver on May 13, 2011 at 12:06 PM

I love your guy too. He uses the Bush tools and policies well.

I don’t have “a guy”, but yes, I’m grateful he kept a lot of the Bush policies.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 12:07 PM

I don’t care, Obama is awesome.

Youngs98 on May 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Yep, it was awesome how well he used the Bush tools and policies left in place, even, though, he campaigned from the standpoint that everything George Bush did was evil and needed to be changed.

But he was awesome.

hawkdriver on May 13, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Obama will continue to badmouth Bush and be as ungracious as he has been for the past few years even after this example.

This slurpee drinking, back seat riding, alligator moat loving, bitter clinger doesn’t think that Obama has the class or grace of one of Bush’s farts.

Scrappy on May 13, 2011 at 12:10 PM

I love your guy too. He uses the Bush tools and policies well.

I don’t have “a guy”, but yes, I’m grateful he kept a lot of the Bush policies.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 12:07 PM

A mid-point truce. Okay.

How about you fess up that there were many here throwing out props to Obama when we got Osama?

hawkdriver on May 13, 2011 at 12:11 PM

One person we know who won’t follow W class move

……

cmsinaz on May 13, 2011 at 12:16 PM

“… he said, claiming no credit for himself.”

In that one, simple, humble statement…

… President George W. Bush showed more dignity and class worthy of a person that ever held the once prestigious Office of the President of the United States.

The fact that Obowma can’t get through taking a cr%p without saying the word “I” is already his legacy…

… That, and being a classless piece of sh%t.

Seven Percent Solution on May 13, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I thought I read somewhere that Obama had called Bush before the raid took place to let him know what has happening.

scalleywag on May 13, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Melissa Lee of CNBC how he felt upon learning the news, Bush said he was “not overjoyed,”

As opposed to Obama who has been described as “Giddy” and “Celebratory”.

bbordwell on May 13, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Good for him, and let’s hope a few people learn lessons from Bush’s example.

The people who most need to learn are the last ones who would.

disa on May 13, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I abhorred his fiscal policies, but I do miss having a President with class and social grace.

ButterflyDragon on May 13, 2011 at 12:43 PM

How about you fess up that there were many here throwing out props to Obama when we got Osama?

YYZ looked around sheepishly, then muttered “fine” under his breath.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Good for him, and let’s hope a few people learn lessons from Bush’s example.

To expect something classy from impertinent thugs is to be delusional. Just look at YYZ.

Schadenfreude on May 13, 2011 at 1:03 PM

YYZ looked around (like a) sheepishly, then muttered “fine” under his breath.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Schadenfreude on May 13, 2011 at 1:04 PM

That’s more credit than Obama ‘s received ’round these parts. W. is a decent person. gave to GWB.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Schadenfreude on May 13, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Bush – grown up
Obama – narcissistic teenager peacock

Schadenfreude on May 13, 2011 at 1:10 PM

How about you fess up that there were many here throwing out props to Obama when we got Osama?

YYZ looked around sheepishly, then muttered “fine” under his breath.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Okay, that was funny. Detente.

hawkdriver on May 13, 2011 at 1:12 PM

“The intelligence services deserve a lot of credit. They built a mosaic of information, piece by piece,” he said, claiming no credit for himself.

Including the ones at Gitmo, which Obama tried to close within a year. Including the ones who waterboarded KSM. Including those at those EEEEEEEVIL CIA secret prisons in Europe. Can the general public read between Bush’s lines?

So, how will we track down Bin Laden’s replacement at the top of Al Qaeda? By reading Bin Laden’s hard drive, or maybe a lil’ more interrogation at Gitmo? Or a little of both?

Steve Z on May 13, 2011 at 1:18 PM

I hope that the words “not overjoyed” were deliberately chosen as a slap at John McCain.

Christien on May 13, 2011 at 1:26 PM

That’s more credit than Obama’s received ’round these parts. W. is a decent person.

YYZ on May 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Yes he is and it’s good to see you mention that.

Vince on May 13, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Come on. He has to know this is bs. Young well educated Muslims in Western Countries are trying to blow crap up. This is about ideology, not oppression.

Rocks on May 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM

It’s not BS. There are a lot of Muslims not blowing things up — and, in fact, condemning those who do. America is still very much a destination for those who want the best for themselves and their children — and overwhelming masses of people want the freedoms we have even if they don’t like us personally.

unclesmrgol on May 13, 2011 at 1:50 PM

When asked by forum moderator Melissa Lee of CNBC how he felt upon learning the news, Bush said he was “not overjoyed”

I see a new leftist meme — right up there with “Bush and bin Laden owned a company together”

unclesmrgol on May 13, 2011 at 1:53 PM

A man with class just schooled the principal.

That’s how it’s done.

Nice!

Pablo Snooze on May 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Obama is a little man when placed side by side with our 43rd President.

WordsMatter on May 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Obama is a little man.

Period.

jana on May 13, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Bush is a classy guy. Too bad the present president is not.

Terrye on May 13, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Still mission you, W.

Very respectfully,

Khun Joe on May 13, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Class vs Amateur, as a tea partier I would wish for this country an honorable leader. O and Clinton, Bill that is, has wasted more talent in leading this country than the public should have to tolerate. Each, a bought and paid for pros. but Bush 41 and 43 was and is Class. Unfortunately , 50% of American’s don’t place a high value on integrity.

texriot on May 13, 2011 at 4:11 PM

I miss having a president and Commander in Chief that I respect, even if I didn’t like all of his policies.

pannw on May 13, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Bush says OBL mission “good call,” “not overjoyed” at bin Laden death

I have extra ‘overjoyed’ to give him to eliminate his ‘not’.

rukiddingme on May 13, 2011 at 11:17 PM