EXCLUSIVE: Bush Says Some U.S. Forces Should Have Stayed in Iraq, Hasn't Heard From Obama
Brian Kilmeade sat down with former President George W. Bush at The Bush Center’s fourth annual Warrior Open golf tournament near Dallas.
Kilmeade asked the former president for his take on some of the tough decisions facing President Obama.
As he has in the past, Bush refused to "second guess" President Obama's decisions, but noted that he was in favor of leaving behind a residual force of about 10,000-15,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
"The president has to make the choices he thinks are important. I'm not going to second guess our president. I understand how tough the job is. To have a former president bloviating and second-guessing is, I don't think, good for the presidency or the country."
Kilmeade asked Bush for his message to veterans who may feel like their sacrifice was not worth it given the current state of Iraq.
"It really was. The world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power, without the Taliban in power," Bush said, describing ISIS as a "group of idealogues who murder the innocent" just like those who attacked on 9/11.
He added that Americans need to understand the "lesson on 9/11" is still just as important today as it was then.
"The human condition elsewhere matters to our national security," said Bush, adding that new democracies, like in Iraq, "take time to take hold."
Bush said recently that he used to speak with his predecessor, Bill Clinton, regularly while in office.
But he said he has not heard from President Obama except when the president called with the news that Usama bin Laden had been killed.
"He has not [called] on a regular basis, which is OK. It doesn't hurt my feelings. It's a decision he has made. Presidents tend to rely on the people they're close to ... and I understand that," said Bush.
He said his younger brother, Jeb, is "weighing his options" on a possible 2016 presidential run, but believes Jeb "wants to be president."
Bush noted that he's "pushing" the former Florida governor to run.
Bush said he doesn't miss Washington, but misses "saluting the men and women who have volunteered to serve our nation."
Watch the full interview above, and check out more information on the Warrior Open.
Also, listen to Bush's appearance on "Kilmeade & Friends" on Fox News Radio.