London, May 29 (ANI): Former US President George W Bush misses flying on Air Force One, eating meals prepared by the White House kitchen staff and drawing inspiration from his encounters with US military personnel.
The often-tearful meetings with relatives of fallen soldiers were "in some ways... very hard and in some ways, it was very uplifting," The Telegraph quoted him as saying for the first time after demitting office.
The speech at The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan was one of the first made by the former president since leaving office in January. About eight people protested outside the venue, carrying signs that called him a murderer and a traitor.
Bush, America's 43rd president, spoke to 2,500 people about "the fog of war" that followed the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the economic downturn and his return to life as a regular citizen.
"It was a roller coaster of emotions, it really was," he said of the terror attacks. "I think about it now at times, but I definitely thought about it every day as president."
Bush talked about the economy, blaming a lack of responsible regulation in the lending industry for the recession, and said that the Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., or Freddie Mac, shouldn't have engaged in certain financial practices.
He also said he believes he was right to depose Saddam Hussein and that it may lead to the spread of democracy throughout the Middle East.
The audience, which gave Bush a warm welcome at his arrival, cheered when he said he wanted to be remembered as a president who showed up in office with a set of principles and he was unwilling to sacrifice his soul for the sake of popularity. (ANI)