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CBS interview: Bush left world a 'better' place

  Former  president George W. Bush is on CBS's "Sunday Morning" this Sunday, and here's a clip; should get some buzz in part because of his defense of Iraq. Yes, he went over some of this with Matt Lauer this past Monday, but this adds additional layers. Check it out, and check out the always excellent "Sunday Morning" too. Transcript of a portion follows...Jim Axelrod reports... 

Axelrod: And so the liberation, in your view, justifies everything.

 

Bush: In my view, what justifies everything is the removal of a threat.  I mean, Saddam Hussein, weapons or no weapons, would've been a threat had he remained in power.  But he had the capacity to make weapons.  And he certainly would've had the money to make weapons.  And he'd have been emboldened, 'cause once again the world would've said, "Disarm."  And we would've allowed him to stay in power.

 

Sometimes you should be judged by the decisions you don't make – in other words the decision to leave him in power.  And my judgment would've been a decision that could've created enormous chaos in the world. In other words, one could envision a nuclear arms race between Saddam and Iran, and then they'd have been saying, "Wait a minute, the failure to act created enormous stress."

 

Axelrod: Did you leave the world in a better place than you found it...

 
Bush: Absolutely...when 50 million people who used to live under a brutal tyrant, that’s better...I know people are living better on the continent of Africa thanks to the generosity of the American people...Obviously it’s gonna take time for history to tell the full story...but yeah I think it’s better...

 

Bush on Dick Cheney:

 

Axelrod:  The question I always get the most from people who know I spend any time covering you is, "What's he like?" And the second question is always, "Was Cheney runnin' the place?"
        

Bush: You know, we laugh because – and I'm sure Dick Cheney would laugh and anybody who's in the White House would laugh – because that's one of the myths that arise when you're the  President. You know, Dick Cheney came to me and he said-- "If you want to replace me, do it," which I thought was unbelievably magnanimous.

        

Axelrod: Did any part of you think, "If I do this and replace him, that'll put an end to, 'Is
Cheney runnin' the joint?'."

        

Bush: That's exactly right.  That would've helped eliminate the myth.  But the problem in that logic is that I liked the job he was doing.  I mean, Cheney is a friend.  I'm glad I picked him 2000.  I'm glad I picked him as I sit here and talk to you. He did a great job as Vice President. And it would've been incredibly self-serving and shallow to have made a decision about my Vice President based upon some misperception. 

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