'More popular' President Bush defends son from 'hostile audience'

Published: Tuesday November 21, 2006

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After delivering a speech at a leadership conference in Abu Dhabi, former President George Herbert Walker Bush was forced to defend his son from verbal attacks by the "hostile audience," on the same day that a new poll reveals that more Americans preferred the first Bush president.

"We do not respect your son," a woman in the audience told Bush. "We do not respect what he's doing all over the world."

The Associated Press reported that "Bush appeared stunned as the audience of young business leaders whooped and whistled in approval" at the woman's comments, coming after the "retired president had just finished a folksy address on leadership by telling the audience how deeply hurt he feels when his son the president is criticized."

According to the AP, Bush's voice "quivered" in response.

"This son is not going to back away," Bush said. "He's not going to change his view because some poll says this or some poll says that, or some heartfelt comments from the lady who feels deeply in her heart about something."

"You can't be president of the United States and conduct yourself if you're going to cut and run," Bush 41 continued. "This is going to work out in Iraq. I understand the anxiety. It's not easy."

The former president lost his cool with one audience member, calling him "crazy" and recommending that he "go back to school."

According to the AP, a student implied that "U.S. wars were aimed at opening markets for American companies," and that "globalization was contrived for America's benefit at the expense of the rest of the world," but "Bush was having none of it."

"I think that's weird and it's nuts," Bush said. "To suggest that everything we do is because we're hungry for money, I think that's crazy."

"I think you need to go back to school," Bush added.

A new CNN poll finds that "only one in four Americans believe President Bush is a better president than his father."

"Six in 10 said the elder Bush, who served one term from 1989-1993, did a better job in office, according to a poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation," CNN reports. "Twelve percent said both were equally good or bad, and 2 percent offered no opinion."