Wednesday, June 17, 2009, former President George W. Bush, spoke at the 104th annual meeting of the Manufacturers and Business Association, in Erie, PA.

(it reminded us of what it was like to have an adult in charge)

Joseph Curt of The Washington Times reports….

Former President George W. Bush fired a salvo at President Obama on Wednesday, asserting his administration’s interrogation policies were within the law, declaring the private sector not government will fix the economy and rejecting the nationalization of health care.

I know it’s going to be the private sector that leads this country out of the current economic times we’re in, the former president said to applause from members of a local business group. You can spend your money better than the government can spend your money. Repeatedly in his hourlong speech and question-and-answer session, Mr. Bush said he would not directly criticize the new president, who has moved to take over financial institutions and several large corporations. Several times, however, he took direct aim at Obama policies as he defended his own during eight years in office.

Government does not create wealth. The major role for the government is to create an environment where people take risks to expand the job rate in the United States, he said to huge cheers. Mr. Bush weighed in on some of the most pressing issues of the day: the election in Iran, the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, and his administration’s interrogation policies of terrorists held there and elsewhere. The former president has not commented on Mr. Obama’s decision to ban enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, which the current president has called off course and based on fear.

The way I decided to address the problem was twofold: One, use every technique and tool within the law to bring terrorists to justice before they strike again, he said, adding that the country needs to stay on offense, not defense. On Guantanamo, which while in office Mr. Bush said he wanted to close, the former president was diplomatic.

I told you I’m not going to criticize my successor, he said. I’ll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don’t believe that persuasion is going to work. Therapy isn’t going to cause terrorists to change their mind.


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