Dailies | Former President George W. Bush to Jay Leno: ‘I Did the Best I Could Do’ (Video)

Former President George W. Bush to Jay Leno: 'I Did the Best I Could Do' (Video)

On President Obama being the butt of the late-night jokes now, Bush quipped: “Better him than me”

Former President George W. Bush blessed the “Tonight Show” couch for one last time to wish host Jay Leno the best as he winds down his tenure (again) on the NBC late night talk show.

The audience was treated to good conversation, some solid jokes — almost exclusively from Bush — and even a surprise visit from former First Lady Laura Bush, who discussed her husband's health scare.

She called his heart incident “very scary,” though the former nation's leader downplayed it himself, saying, “I wasn't that scared.”

To which Leno quipped: “You had Obamacare?” Cue the thunderous laughter on stage and off.

See video: Sen. Ted Cruz Bashes Obamacare, Defends His Dad on ‘Tonight Show’

“I know you've tried to stay out of the spotlight for the last few years or so,” a grateful Leno posed to the Texan. “So I was actually pleasantly surprised you accepted our invitation.”

“Only because of you,” President Bush said. He added, “I mean, you're about to head out to pasture. I just wanted to see what you look like before you got to the gate.”

The jokes kept coming from the former Commander-in-Chief. Though he sometimes mixed those with poignant statements.

“I did the best I could do,” Bush said of his two terms. “I'm also very comfortable with the fact that it's going take a while for history to judge whether the decisions I made are consequential or not. And, therefore, I'm not too worried about it.”

He added: “In other words, I've read some biographies of Washington. And my attitude is if they're still writing biographies of the first guy, the 43rd guy doesn't need to worry about it.”

See video: Matt Lauer and Sarah Palin Get Into Heated Exchange Over Obamacare

Leno steered the conversation to the 44th guy, President Barack Obama. The late night host asked Bush why he doesn't discuss the current President's policy.

I don't think it's good for the country to have a former President criticize his successor,” Bush replied, to sustained applause from the appreciative audience.

Then there was this exchange, which gained even more points with the warmed-up crowd:

Leno: “Now, President Obama's kind of getting all the late-night jokes now …”
Bush: Better him than me.”
Leno: “Are you glad you aren't President now?
Bush: “Yes, I am. Yeah. Eight years is plenty.”

I must say you look much more relaxed,” Leno said.

“No kidding… Duh,” Bush replied.

Watch the clips:

  • Debbie Mauder Reinbolt

    I really miss this wonderful man—-and his sense of humor

    • Caley McGuire

      Apparently you miss him much more than his own party, who didn't even mention his name, distancing themselves as far as possible during the last two election cycles.

      • Bill

        Bush will go down in history, as a moral, honest and forthright man; while the likes of Carter went down as a bumbling fool; Clinton as a whoremonger, and Obama as an inept amateur at best.
        So what's your point about the RINO party?

        • Caley McGuire

          Bush will be known for a lot of things, ‘honest and forthright’ aren't adjectives that will apply. He'll go down as the man who got our country into two needless wars that cost us all dearly.

          • Patrick

            I'd bet you haven't paid anything for them.

      • G. young

        If you are confdent you don't need to mention anyone's name. Obama has worn out the Name Bush with his constant Blame Game. It is all about knowing how to take responsibility, standing up and being a leader and know what you are doing. It's more than Golf and Air Force One and reading a Speech someone has written for him and placed on a Teleprompter. It is not a Job for a Rock Star! Someone who doesn't know how to tell the truth and leads the American people with deceit.

        • Caley McGuire

          Specious generalizations, fella. Every president in our lifetime has had speech writers and have employed the use of teleprompters. Bush broke the country and his own party treats him like a pariah.

          • Patrick

            There haven't been many that blatantly lied over and over and over at least 27x's to the entire populaton. And you are going to blame the 8 TRILLION since BO has been spending on Bush, I suppose as most lemmings do..

  • 2shinyshoes

    Such a genuine, good man. A quality of kindness this current admin. doesn't have.

  • Razorgirl53

    It was especially heartwarming how the audience responded. What a classy couple. The timing of his appearance couldn't have been better.

  • G. young

    Great Man..Miss Him…He never played the Blame Game. He didnt have too..he knew His Job. A Gentleman at all times, Very Confident, Loves America, the Military and would never have gone from country to country apologizing. Crawfiord Texas was just ”fine” for his vacation spots. Not only Vacations but entertaining Foreign Leaders as well. Can't beat that Southern Hospitality. He never needed ”photo ops.” he had more important ”things” on his mind than TV Appearances, and Flying Around On Air Force One.

    • Graywolf12

      He even gave up golf because there were so many more important things to do. Too bad obama lost the note Bush left for him ” concentrate on the welfare of the country not your games and vacations”.

      • Caley McGuire

        Do a bit of research on the comparison of vacation days taken in office by our current president and his predecessor.

        • Graywolf12

          Days do not count. One used ranch, vacation days, to entertain foreign leaders. and make them a working vacation. O uses days to golf, hob nob with entertainers, and union leaders. One a leader, the other a “I think I am important”.

          • Caley McGuire

            Nice to see you've got it all figured out and know exactly how each president spent his time during his vacations. Lucky you.

          • Patrick

            Also I do not recall Mrs. Bush vacationing in separate locations away from her husband….or if in the same location, leaving on different flights. Nor do I recall us ever having to pay for Laura to fly home after extending a vacation to celebrate her birthday. Of course, that doesn't count because a Democrat did it.

          • Caley McGuire

            Thanks for finally setting all of us straight. Desperate to spin a point, aren't you?

  • bernadette rhodes