Bush, Clinton reminisce, preach civility

Aug. 14, 2012 at 4:31 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton told stories and called for political civility during a discussion at a Utah conference.

Participating Monday in a moderated discussion at the Outlook Leadership Conference, an annual business meeting of convenience and petroleum retailing executives at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, the ex-presidents praised each other's accomplishments and behaved more like old friends than political rivals, the (Salt Lake) Deseret News reported.

After Bush reacted to Clinton's comment that he likes Bush but loves his father, Clinton wisecracked, "Yeah, well, what can I say? He played golf with me."

The ex-presidents both called for civility in Washington and on the campaign trail, the newspaper said.

"It seems like it's a lot less civil now. The blogosphere allows for anonymity. You can say anything you want. It's created a damn toxic environment," Bush said.

Clinton recounted a CNN interview in which he made a positive comment about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and was criticized by bloggers and cable news programs who claimed he "abandoned (his) party" and "undercut" President Obama.

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