Bush: President's priority is U.S. safety

Jan. 14, 2009 at 10:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. president's highest priority is preventing another terrorist attack on American soil, President George Bush said.

"The most important job I have had -- and the most important job the next president is going to have -- is to protect the American people from another attack," Bush said during an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live."

He said his administration "learned a lot of information about al-Qaida that we didn't know before," but declined to be more specific during the interview Tuesday.

Bush, appearing on the show with his wife, Laura, dismissed his low approval ratings, calling opinion polls "nothing but a shot of yesterday's news."

Bush said decisions his administration made regarding Iraq weren't in error.

"What I was worried about, (was) Iraq going to fail -- not Iraq was wrong," he said. "And the surge has worked and a young democracy in the heart of the Middle East has taken hold. There's more work to be done."

Bush also cautioned his successor, Barack Obama, against becoming an economic forecaster.

"I think he can say it's going to be a tough period, but to predict what the economy is going to do ... it is going to be bad. How bad? How long?" Bush said. "What he ought to be saying -- and I know he feels this way -- is he's going to take the steps he thinks are necessary to get us back on the road to recovery and we will recover."

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