George W. Bush will ultimately go down in history as a compassionate, honest president, political strategist and liberal Democrat Lanny Davis says.
“He had a record I disagreed with as a liberal Democrat, but his very famous expression in running for election was ‘compassionate conservative’ — and there is a record that supports that,’’ Davis told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’
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Davis said there are three examples he cites in the legacy of Bush, who was feted this week as the new presidential library and museum bearing his name officially opened.
“[First,] the ‘No Child Left Behind’ registration,’’ said Davis, who served as Bill Clinton’s special counsel and on George W. Bush’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
“Secondly, it was George Bush supported one of the major extensions of Medicare ever in the prescription drug benefit.
“And I just remind people that when it came to 9/11, he did stand up and inspire the whole nation.’’
Davis said he has been criticized for citing the “No Child Left Behind’’ program — the government's aid program for disadvantaged students which has proven highly controversial.
“What [people] always seemed to forget is Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, not exactly a conservative, wrote, sponsored, and appeared with President Bush at the White House in support of that legislation,’’ Davis said.
He said his respect for Bush goes back to their days together as students at Yale’s Davenport residential college.
It was there, Davis recalled, that Bush stood up for a gay student who was being called derogatory names.
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