Not Snitching: Obama Mum on Convos With Bush

Unlike his public spat with Cheney, Obama extends courtesy of silence to Bush


President Barack Obama has had conversations with former commander in chief George W. Bush -- but the sitting president isn't rapping about his chats with Dubya.

In contrast with his very public back and forth with ex-Vice President Dick Cheney on national security, Obama said he will honor some informal presidential tradition of keeping mum about what he and Bush discuss. It was unclear how many heart-to-hearts the two men have had but Obama said they have spoken since he took office.

"Although I've only been president for four months, I think a general policy of keeping confidence with your predecessors is important," Obama said during a sweeping interview with C-SPAN Saturday.

Both Obama and Bush have kept a distance publicly with the former president declining invitations to criticize Obama. Obama has also stopped himself from ripping Bush, choosing instead to reverse unpopular Bush policies and aggressively trying to fix much of what the former president broke.

That same courtesy has not been extended for Bush's attack dog Cheney who has broken away from his habit of lurking in the shadows to emerge as one of Obama's sharpest critics and fiercest defenders of the previous administration.

Obama dismissed some observations that his duel with Cheney on issues of torture and Guantanamo is historic.

"I'm not sure it's historic," he said.

During the interview, Obama also touched on lighter subjects, including his family's adjustment to living in the White House. He said the presidential residence was "terrific" for family life -- especially when compared with the campaign when he rarely spent time with his kids.

He called the Oval Office a "pretty nice home office" and said he liked being home for dinner most of the time where he can listen to his daughters talk about their day.

Overall, he thinks his family is normal.

"We've got some issues like every other family has that they have to work through," Obama said.

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