Dec 2, 2018

What they're saying: George H.W. Bush's colleagues react to his death

Chuck Todd with Dick Cheney

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on "Meet the Press." Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images.

Top officials who worked with late President George H.W. Bush during his long tenure in government made their rounds on this week's Sunday shows to pay tribute to his legacy.

One big quote from former Secretary of State James Baker: "Well, I think that no doubt that what he will be remembered as our most successful one-term president. And perhaps the most successful, one of the most successful presidents of all time. His presidency, while it was only four years, was extraordinarily consequential."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney discussed working for Bush and his son, George W. Bush, on NBC's "Meet the Press":

  • "Probably — well, as vice president they couldn’t fire me, so I could be a little bit more forthright in speaking. But they both — they were great guys to work for. I’m very proud of what I was able to do with both of them. The fact that I was asked to serve, those were remarkable years. And there were difficult times, no question about it, in both administrations. But it was a, well — the highlight of my career."

Baker on ABC's "This Week":

  • “Well, I’ve certainly imagined how different my life would have been had he not been my friend. You know, I never intended to get into politics or public service, George. And I was a lawyer in Houston, Texas. I was content to continue that."
  • "I lost my wife to cancer at the age of 38 and Barbara and George were the last people to come see her other than family before she died. And, George wanted — George came to me and said, 'You know, you need to take your mind off your grief, how about helping me run for the Senate here in Texas?'"

Gen. Colin Powell, who served as George H.W. Bush’s Joint Chiefs chairman on CNN's "State of the Union":

  • "You don’t see that in many organizations these days where you are free to speak. And Bush would just sit there listening and he would enjoy the dialogue."

Powell on "This Week":

  • “[Bush] knew what combat was all about. He knew that combat meant the death of people, people on your side and people on the other side. And so, he wanted to avoid a war.”

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