Presidents meet in the Oval Office
President Obama and former President George H. W. Bush in the Oval Office today
February 15th, 2011
10:43 AM ET

Presidents meet in the Oval Office

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former President George H.W. Bush returned to his old office on Tuesday for a brief meeting with President Obama.

Bush, the 41st president of the United States is in Washington to recieve the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this afternoon in the East Room. He is one of 15 recipients to receive the nation's highest civilian honor. Maya Angelou, Warren Buffet, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Rep. John Lewis, and Yo-Yo Ma are some of the other recipients.

Today's meeting is not the first for the two presidents. Obama traveled to College Station, Texas in October 2009 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Bush's 'Points of Light Institute,' and Obama met the former president, and his son, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in the Oval Office in January of last year when they were in Washington to attend a dinner at the Alfalfa Club.

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soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Ted

    Bush Senior was actually not a bad president and has shown to be a real diplomat and as well as working well with President Clinton and probably gives a good viewpoint to Obama. There was another president between Clinton and Obama and I am trying hard to forget that one. 🙂

    February 15, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Pat F

      I disagree. Bush Sr. was president when the Tienanman protesters were slaughtered, and he turned a blind eye. Like the Obamessiah did in 2009 when Iran massacred its protesters.

      February 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
      • Ted

        Hey Pat F. What course of action would you have pursued when China dealt with the Tinanemen Square event as well as the Iraninan event? Pound your chest and get the UN to issue useless positions and statements and all that crap?

        I did not vote for Bush Sr nor any other repukelican. I was comparing Bush Sr to the idiot son Bush Jr.

        February 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
      • Frankie

        What so many Republicans seem to forget is that the United States is not the leader of other soverign nations. Whatever the other nations do is up to them. We may not like it, but we have to live with it. This nation building BS started by W with Iraq and Afghanistan is the reason so many soverign nations hate the U.S. The Muslim world would love to come into the U.S. and tell us how to run our lives, and we consider this part of their terrorist plot. Yet the Republicans have no problem doing the same thing with their self-righteous Christianity as far as going into Muslim countries (remember those four Christian activists we had to rescue, at great expense, from Afghanistan when we first invaded that soverign country?)

        February 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
      • Tschrny Wolf

        I am no fan of Bush. However, when we Americans have taken sides in foreign problems; it has often led to war, like the one in Iraq. Right now, given our delicate economic status and unemployment plus huge deficit, we cannot afford another foreign war. Basically the practice of war must stop. No more Viet-Nams !

        February 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Aaron

      First Bush wasn't too bad as a president, but they are handing the medals out like candy now. How did Warren Buffeet and Angela Merkel promote freedom? As far as Yo-Yo Ma, who is he or she?

      February 16, 2011 at 12:06 am |
      • ZoomStar5

        Yo-Yo Ma is a highly acclaimed cellist. He's won multiple Grammy Awards and is a world-class musician. Not sure how he promotes freedom, but he's damn good at playing the cello.

        March 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  2. Melanie

    Arg, you do NOT use an apostrophe to pluralize. Media, come ON.

    February 15, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  3. Henry Miller

    "President's meet in the Oval Office"


    The plural of "President" is "Presidents," not "President's." "President's" is the possessive form.

    This is grammar-school grammar! Get it right, CNN!"

    February 15, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  4. Mike in Memphis

    Hey, CNN? Check out your title for this article: "President's meet in the Oval Office." Now go break out a grammar book and learn when to use an apostrophe.

    February 15, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  5. Jake

    "President's"? Seriously? Grammar 101.

    This is likely a simple mistake. But from such a reputable source of journalism as CNN, this type of 'mistake' shouldn't happen. Makes me cringe!

    February 15, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  6. Steve, New York City

    Ted – I agree. Bush '41 was an under-rated president (and unlike his oldest son, he actually has a brain, and is a decent guy) . . .truly a shame that the (junior) President Bush did not spend enough time listening to his dad, and spent too much time listening to Neo-Cons (who, deep down inside, HATE this country – which is why they helped run the deficit into the ground).

    February 15, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  7. Chris

    It's good to know that our news media passed elementary school grammar.

    February 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  8. JCramer

    "recieve the Presidential Medal" I before E except after C. What is so hard about that?

    February 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  9. W L Jones

    Knowledge is learnt an Mr. Bush have a long history in foreign policy so why not the president sit down and discuss with him the problem facing our country.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  10. vera p

    "receive," not "recieve" I guess CNN fired all of the copy editors.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  11. Enough is Enough

    Since John Sweeney (union thug) former head of the SEIU and AFL-CIO is one of the 15 I wonder if the other 14 now think this award is worthless. Kind of like Obama getting the nobel peace prize. The stupid things Obama does just never stop,

    February 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Ted

      hey enough times two – Even Obama was surprised at winning the Nobel. But you have to admit that Dubya Bush won the chief dumBELL award. Obama knows to talk to elder statemen like Bush Senior and Bill Clinton. Notice that Dubya will never be an elder statesman. just an alcoholic delusional idiot.

      February 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
      • Tschrny Wolf

        I am not so sure. I saw Bush Sr., giving should-to air missiles to Bin Laden back when Al quaida said they were our "friends". It is true that Bush had no way to know bin laden was faking, or being honest at the time? I just do not know.

        February 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Deandre

      This "free sharing" of information seems too good to be true. Like cmmoniusm.

      December 23, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  12. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Congratulations to President G. H. W. Bush! He is truly filling the role of "elder statesman", unlike the Peanut Farmer. He and the others selected for this honor are definitely deserving individuals.

    February 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Phil in KC

      I believe Bush 1 has done a lot of good things since leaving office. And that's saying a lot, since I was not much of a fan when he was in office. But he is not in the same league as Carter. No president, as far as I am aware, has matched Carter for his senior statesmanship upon leaving office. He has set an example we will probably not see again. Too many are content to rest on their laurels.

      February 15, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  13. Gaylon Barrow

    I heard George upchucked after he left the White House.

    February 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  14. E- from Texas

    The professionalism of Obama certainly shines through. Come on Republicans: Do you really think Palin or anyone else in your bunch would display as much class as The "O" man? Let us face it you have thrown him all the negatives you could muster-up but he keeps beating you with smarts, of course looks, intellect and in 2012 the White House, AGAIN!
    Look what he is doing with the budget- You came to Washington to be the "better" party, the answer to the country. Go ahead and make more sever cuts to the budget and see how popular you will be in 2012.
    OBAMA in 12- AGAIN!

    February 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  15. Liz Carter in GA

    My goodness! CNN hears all of you ENGLISH PROFESSORS, OK? LOOK, do you understand what CNN is saying? Does anyone really need more interpretation? Well enough already! Pres Obama has very good insight, intelligence, and wisdom! He has done well to visit with the 41st PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES, GHW BUSH! He, like CLINTON are both very diplomatically savvy. GHW BUSH, being former director of the CIA has to possess some informational tips on how we can and need to rebuild our foreign policy in the world!

    February 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  16. FXS


    February 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  17. Jay in NC

    When will Barry bring the troop home from Afghanistan? Barry has lost more men and women and cost us more money than during President G. Bush.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • magnus

      Donald Trump will bring respect back to America and I hope he gets elected. It is time that we stop being suckers for the rest of the world esp China and OPEC.

      February 15, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  18. Larry

    Um, ok. Yes, President Obama meets with former President Bush. All fine and dandy, medal of freedom and stuff. But, CNN, and this is important: Can you find out, what, if anything, they talked about, is it important, why, why not, and then ask yourselves, is this story even worth posting. Thanks.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  19. steve

    Jay in NC

    When will Barry bring the troop home from Afghanistan? Barry has lost more men and women and cost us more money than during President G. Bush.


    Are you counting Iraq too? But seriously, if G. Bush had done his job in Afghanistan, the U.S. would have been out of there a long time ago.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  20. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @steve; Jay hadn't had a president since George W Bush! He's still President George W Bush; and Laura is still the First Lady, while President Obama, disrespectfully is Barry, and Michelle, is The First Date! Yet he gets offensive when he's called on his bigotry and blatant disrespect not only of the president himself, personally, but to the office of the president! Oh, yes everything BUSH did is justified even if it was wrong! There's always a valid reason why he made those decisions. You know what I mean?

    February 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Liz, in the words of Rep. Joe Wilson, "You lie!" Every thing President Bush did is not justified. I have made my position very clear, he should not have started the wars. I never have supported the wars and never will. The question is why do you support Barry for escalating the war in Afghanistan? Is it because President Bush is white?

      Please do not get me started on The First Date. I am sure by the end of the month we will hear of her spending more tax payer money on a trip. She does enough damage to her reputation with out my help.

      February 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  21. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Aaron, Since I don't think any of us have walked through life with any of the recipients 'up close and personal' to even have the right to question their legitimacy of being a recipient, we've always accepted the mini-biographies as they were given to us! And I believe each one was a worthy one. Why now would you complain saying the MEDAL OF FREEDOM was being given out like candy? Is it because this PRESIDENT and his administration chose this list of recipients? It was a wonderful list! YO YO MA is a man!

    February 16, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  22. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Jay, do you remember a long time ago when the subject was up about the wars AFGHANISTAN and IRAQ, you complained about PRES OBAMA wasn't bringing the troops out fast enough to suit you. I replied by making the bad decision to say BUSH had no business putting us over there anyway; that he'd even defied the UN doing it. You did your research and came back with all of the 'authorization statements' saying he was authorized to do it by CONGRESS! You even told me OBAMA agreed with it! Was he even a SENATOR then?

    February 18, 2011 at 6:48 am |
  23. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I wrote back that 'authorization' didn't necessarily mean 'justification'. My point was back then, here everybody was jumping on OBAMA with 'these are his wars now; so what's he going to do'? 'When is he going to bring the troops home'? The man said, as did everyone else during the campaign, that he would draw down responsibly and it was according to the conditions on the ground! He had to get elected, go into office and listen to the advice of his war advisors! That's just what he did for BUSH'S WARS!

    February 18, 2011 at 7:08 am |
  24. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Jay, your showing of 'authorization' said to me you were justifying them. After our back and forth on other subjects, it came up again and all of a sudden you became against the participation in the wars too! You told me you had made your 'position very clear on the wars, he should not have started the wars'. The point is you hadn't; until later. I let it go. My thing is, you tried to justify it before you decided against it; but I let it go! You never made reference of your non-support until way later!

    February 18, 2011 at 7:32 am |
  25. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I did not LIE! That's one thing I strive to steer clear of! I may have a MISCONCEPTION of a fact, not DECEPTION; and when I become aware of it, I apologize! You know it! I said what I said because, you will defend FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH and FORMER FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH on any and everything politically and personally it seems, and that's whether you support it or not! But you can't seem find a defense, authorization, justification, compassion nor empathy, for the OBAMAS on ONE thing! Support is out!

    February 18, 2011 at 7:56 am |