In a nostalgic farewell news conference, Bush recalled the start of his own presidency, called Obama "a smart, engaging person" and said he wishes his successor all the best.
As for his own presidency, Bush defended his decisions on the Iraq war, the issue that will define his presidency like no other. There have been over 4,000 U.S. deaths since the invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Bush referred to the enormous weight Obama is about to experience, describing what it might feel like on Jan. 20 when, after taking the oath of office, he enters the Oval Office for That will be the major threat," Bush said, putting the risk of another attack over the dire economic problems now facing the nathe first time as president. "There'll be a moment when the responsibility of the president lands squarely on his shoulders," Bush said.
And he gave his view of the most urgent priority facing the incoming president: the possibility of an attack on the United States. The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks changed the country and shaped his own presidency.
Bush also repeated his long-standing call for creation of a Palestinian state and says Hamas must back off from its attacks on Israel.