Tags: obama | brian | willians

Obama Rejects Brian Williams Dig at Bush

Wednesday, 03 Jun 2009 01:30 PM

By Dan Weil

President Obama defended his predecessor after NBC News Anchor Brian Williams made a comment slighting George W. Bush.

The dig came in an interview that appeared on NBC last night. In a transcript provided by NewsBusters, Williams began: “You're about to give a speech to the Muslim world, really, the tent pole of this big trip you're embarking on.”

Here’s the punch at Bush: “It's been said it's a speech that your predecessor perhaps could not have given constitutionally, given who he is, and could not have given because the attack came on his watch,” Williams says.

“Other than your personal style, what has changed to enable you to give this address?”

But Obama wouldn’t take the bait. “Well, you know, I'm not sure that it's true that President Bush couldn't have given a speech in the Muslim world,” he says.

“A U.S. President, even where there's a lot of tension in various parts of the world, is always… received as a critical figure in world economics and politics. And people want to know what they have to say. So I wouldn't suggest that somehow I'm uniquely positioned to deliver this speech.”

Just as Obama declined to criticize Bush in this instance, so has Bush refused to denigrate his successor.

In March, during a speech in Calgary, Bush said, "I'm not going to spend my time criticizing him. There are plenty of critics in the arena. He deserves my silence."

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