Rice: 'This generation' will 'soon thank' Bush
Andrew McLemore
Published: Sunday December 28, 2008

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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended the last eight years of President Bush's policies as an achievement that is not reflected in the lowest approval ratings of all time.

Rice said it won't be long before Bush's contributions to the world will be acknowledged and that recognition of big achievements sometimes take a long time.

"I think generations pretty soon are going to start to thank this president for what he's done," Rice said in CBS interview Sunday. "This generation will."

Asked what grade she would give the administration on foreign policy, Rice said some decisions merited an "A-plus" while others "deserve a lot less." But she remained adamant that Bush's central decision to invade Iraq was the right one.

"It's not a popularity contest," Rice said. "It is to lay a foundation for where all this will come out. I know that your business is to report today's headlines and I respect that. But my business is to lay a foundation for history's judgment."

Rice's dismissal of Bush's low approval ratings prompted interviewer Rita Braver to prod Rice, saying "It has to be more than just a perception problem." Braver then cited a Pew Survey, which found that the "U.S. image abroad is suffering almost everywhere."

Rice argued that many large countries still support the US.

"In two of the most populous countries, China and India, the United States is not just well regarded for its policies, but very well regarded," Rice said.

But the same Pew Survey found that 41 percent of China views the US favorably and only 30 percent has confidence in the Bush administration.

In another Sunday interview, Laura Bush attacked critics who claim her husband's presidency has been a failure and agreed that the decision to invade Iraq was the right one, leaving the nation's people with greater freedom.

Bush said that "freedom of expression" is reflected in the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at the president.