You probably wouldn’t expect former President George W. Bush, in his first speech since leaving office, to praise his successor.
But that’s exactly what he did Tuesday.
In a folksy address to 1,400 people in Canada, he expressed confidence in President Obama’s ability to mend the economy and financial system, Jason Enns, a financial advisor who attended the speech, told Bloomberg. Media weren’t allowed at the event.
“He told us: ‘Wall Street had a big party and now we’re dealing with their hangover,’” Enns says.
Enns said Bush told the audience that he expects Obama will do a “fantastic job” and that he will provide help and advice if Obama asks for it.
Bush told the crowd in Calgary, which is the base for much of Canada’s oil and natural gas industry, that the U.S. will need the crude extracted from northern Alberta’s oil sands, the largest reserves outside the Middle East, Enns said.
Obama has said that the tar sands oil can be used as a clean energy provider. Canada is the largest exporter of oil to the U.S.
Bush may truly support Obama’s economic policies, or he may just be polite. It would look quite unseemly for an ex-president to blast his successor in his first post-White House speech.
But others aren’t so polite. Former Vice President Dick Cheney recently told CNN that Obama is using the economic crisis as an excuse to expand the government’s role.
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