"Brazilian was broken (when I assumed office) and someone will have to save this country," Lula said, reacting to criticism by former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
Lula said his government has done more in five months than his predecessors accomplished in 40 years. The president is in the midst of promoting his widespread reform initiative, which calls for changes in Brazil's political, economic and judicial systems.
Brazil's chief executive went on to lash out at Cardoso for being out of touch with the people during his tenure, saying he didn't learn his politics at the university but on the factory floor during his previous occupation as a metalworker.
Cardoso has been highly critical of Lula's economic policies.