Former President George W. Bush speaks in Chicago

October 21, 2010

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Former President George W. Bush (AP/File)

Former President George W. Bush made a rare public appearance in Chicago Thursday. He spoke to the Commercial Finance Association, a group of representatives from lending institutions.

Security was extremely tight to see Mr. Bush. No audio recorders or cameras were allowed and he took no questions from the media. Mr. Bush even paused at one point during his speech, saying, "I have zero desire to be on Youtube."

He spent much of his speech promoting his new book coming out. He wouldn't say much about the upcoming election, other than he doesn't want to be a pundit or a "blowhard" on TV.  He made several jokes and told a lot of stories involving his Scottish terrier, Barney.

Mr. Bush defended his decision to bail out banks toward the end of his presidency, saying those regulations avoided a depression that would've been worse than the Great Depression. He said his greatest failure as president was not passing Social Security reform and Mr. Bush said he thinks U.S. troops should stay in Afghanistan, but he did not mention Iraq once.

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