AUSTIN (KXAN) - Bush interview highlights
- His hope for the country is that it doesn't get attacked again.
- His advocacy for AIDS and malaria programs in Africa is one of his strongest legacies.
- He is looking forward to "hanging out" and "reconnecting" with friends in Texas
- George W. Bush Presidential Institute at SMU in Dallas won't be a partisan center, but instead "a place of learning and thought."
- The Republican Party should improve the tone of its position on immigration, as well as rebuild and recruit membership in the party.
- He believes his time in the White House made him "more wise, more worldly."
- Meanwhile, Laura Bush said she plans to keep working with Afghan women to strengthen their rights, as well as her favored health projects in Africa and the Middle East.
As change sweeps through Washington, PresidentGeorge W. Bush sits down with Leslie Rhode of KXAN Austin News.In this special interview, we will learn how he views his legacy,his regrets and even his future back home in Texas.
Leslie was outside the White House gates, where Bush gave hisfinal news conference, addressing his successes and missedopportunities. Though the Bushs have one more week in the WhiteHouse, inaugural construction is well underway Monday.
The Jan. 20 inauguration ceremony Tuesday will greet BarackObama as the 44th president of the United States. Obama replacesBush, the 43rd U.S. president. Bush served as the 46th Texasgovernor from 1995 until 2000 and was sworn in as president Jan.20, 2001.
Bush was only eight months into his first-term presidency whenhe propelled the global war on terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001terrorist attacks occurred. He ordered an invasion of Afghanistanthat same year and an invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Among the policies Bush has attempted to promote are theeconomy, health care, education and social security reform areseveral policies, in addition to national security issues. Largetax cuts, the No Child Left Behind Act and Medicare prescriptiondrug benefits for seniors were enacted by Bush during his time inoffice. His tenure has also seen a national debate onimmigration.
In 2004, Bush was re-elected after running against DemocraticSenator John Kerry in 2004. Bush received increasingly heatedcriticism shortly thereafter, and in 2005, the Bush administrationwas forced to deal with criticism regarding Hurricane Katrina.
The U.S. economy entered its second recession under Bush in2008, wherein his administration took a firmer grip on the economyby enacting multiple economic stimulus packages.
As president, Bush has experienced both sides of the popularityspectrum. Though Bush was a popular president for much of his firstterm, he peaked after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks when hereceived the highest approval rating of any president in Americanhistory. However, during Bush's second term, his popularityexperienced a sharp decline when he received the lowest approvalrating, as well as the lowest sustained approval numbers, inAmerican history.
As the Bushs plan their White House departure, Leslie interviewsBush about the past, present and future Monday. Stay tuned to theKXAN Austin News special event Monday at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
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The judge presiding over the trial to oust District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg ruled Wednesday that she'll stay in office.
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