Former President George W. Bush has stayed largely out of the limelight since leaving office in January 2009 – and he likes it that way.
Appearing Tuesday on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
" Bush told the late night comedy host he is glad not to be president anymore.
"Eight years is plenty," he said. "Laura and I love living in Texas. Dallas is our home, and we're very comfortable there. We've got a lot of friends there and I really don't miss the spotlight."
Leno told Bush he looks much more relaxed now than he did when office.
"No kiddin'," Bush responded. "Duh!"
Bush said he has kept mostly quiet about President Barack Obama because he doesn't think it's good for the country to have a former president criticize his successor. He even defended Obama
when he was criticized for playing too much golf.
"President Obama's kind of getting all the late night jokes now," Leno said.
"Better him than me!" Bush quipped.
Turning serious, Bush shared how he made tough decisions as president.
"You have to believe in what you're doing, first and foremost," he said. "I relied upon my faith. My family helped a lot. I had a good team around me. I did the best I could do. I'm also very comfortable with the fact it's going to take a while for history to judge whether the decisions I made are consequential or not."
Though critics accused him of lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush has long said he believes history will judge him well for his actions in keeping the United States safe.
"I read a biography of Washington," he told Leno. "My attitude is, if they're stilling writing biographies of the first guy, the 43rd guy doesn't need to worry about it."
It was Bush's fourth appearance on the show since March 2000, and he told Leno, who is set to give up "The Tonight Show" to Jimmy Fallon in February, he accepted the invitation "only because of you.
"You're about to head out to pasture," Bush told Leno. "Just wanted to see what you look like before you got to the gate."
Former first lady Laura Bush also joined her husband in the guest chair, telling Leno that Bush's recent heart surgery
was "very scary."
"I wasn't that scared," Bush jumped in.
"You had Obamacare?" Leno asked.
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