Best Quotes From the Bush Library Dedication

'We made the tough decisions,' says George W.

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 25, 2013 12:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – George W. Bush's presidential library got its formal dedication today in Dallas, with all five living presidents making the trip. "Oh happy day," Bush said as he took the stage. "41, it is awesome that you are here today," continued the man of honor in reference to his father, reports the AP. As for visitors to the site: "They’re going to find out that we stayed true to our convictions, that we expanded freedom at home by raising standards at school and lowering taxes for everybody, that we liberated nations from dictatorship and freed people from AIDS," said the younger Bush, as noted by NBC News. "And that when freedom came under attack, we made the tough decisions required to make the American people safe.”

Some other notable comments:

  • President Obama: He praised Bush's resolve after 9/11, his help fighting AIDS in Africa, and his commitment to immigration reform, reports the New York Times. "We know President Bush the man. To know the man is to like the man. Because he's comfortable in his own skin. He knows who he is. He doesn’t put on any pretenses. He takes the job seriously but he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s a good man."
  • President Carter: He also praised Bush for his AIDS push in Africa, along with helping to stop Sudan's long civil war: "Mr. President let me say that I am filled with admiration for you and deep gratitude for you about the great contributions you've made to the most needy people on Earth."
  • President Clinton: He touched on similar themes, and jokingly recalled his private conversations with his successor. "Dear God, I hope there’s no record of those conversations in this vast and beautiful building."
  • Laura Bush: "I remember how steadfast and steady he was for eight years. My George is a man who when someone needs a hand offers them their arms."

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, center, flanked by former Attorney General John Ashcroft, right, and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Obama and his predecessors at the dedication.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Former President George W. Bush speaks at the dedication.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Obama with Barbara Bush.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
From left, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, and Jenna Bush.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Obama shakes hands with George W. Bush as Bill Clinton applauds.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, arrive for the dedication on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
The Obamas and the Bushes at the dedication.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Obama stands with former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication in Texas.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Republican strategist Karl Rove arrives at the dedication.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, right, listens to an unidentified man behind him. He's with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, center, and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud...   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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