George W. Bush: History will be the judge; as for opinion polls, ‘I could care less’

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President George W. Bush said that history will be the judge of his record in office — not the public opinion polls that show more Americans are starting to look at his presidency in a more positive light.

“I could care less,” Mr. Bush said, sitting next to his wife, Laura, on a CNN report. “The only time I really cared was on Election Day.”

He then paused and said, “I guess it is nice.”

Mr. Bush has been in Africa, where the Republican joined President Obama at a wreath-laying ceremony in Tanzania and has been helping to renovate a cancer-screening clinic in Zambia as part of his ongoing effort to build on the moves he made as president to combat HIV and AIDS in Africa.

“Ultimately history will judge the decisions I made, and I won’t be around because it will take time for the objective historians to show up,” he said. “So I am pretty comfortable with it. I did what I did.”

In the interview, Mr. Bush described former South African President Nelson Mandela as a “historic figure that made a huge difference.” When reminded that Mr. Mandela, who remains in a critical condition in a hospital, criticized his decision to invade Iraq, Mr. Bush quipped, “Yeah, he wasn’t the only guy.”

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