Former Vice President Dick Cheney Monday remembered late President George H.W. Bush as person with an "amazing ability for the personal touch," while agreeing with Bush's assessment that he'd made about him in his biography.
"I remember, 2004 election night, we're upstairs in the residence at the White House," Cheney, who had served as Bush's defense secretary before moving on to become President George W. Bush's vice president, told NBC's "Today."
"This is when President Bush 43 and I were running for re-election. We (Lynne and Dick Cheney) had our granddaughter there. She was about 7 years old at the time and the President walked over to her and said, ‘you're the youngest person here, I'm the oldest, let's chat.’"
Cheney said his granddaughter has never forgotten about that chat.
"There was no gesture that was too small or insignificant in terms of what he was willing to do to make people feel comfortable, to help when he could help," said Cheney. "He just was one of the most thoughtful people I ever knew.”
Bush, though, accused Cheney of becoming a "hardass" between the time he'd been defense secretary and when he became vice president, and Cheney agreed Monday that that was what he had become.
"Partly because what happened was 9/11," said Cheney. "I was much more of a hard case during that period. Interesting after he was quoted saying that…I got a note from him, a handwritten note saying, ‘Dear Dick, I did it’ and then, apologizing and saying nice things about me.”
Cheney also recalled Bush as a person who did not like to talk about what his legacy would be, or brag about himself.
"I think his experience and that of a lot of us in public life, find that over time, the record is better explained," said Cheney. "It's reinforced by the notion that he retained from his mother, about not bragging about his own accomplishments. That's rare for a politician."
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