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George W. Bush's reaction to Obama telling him of Bin Laden's death: 'Good call'

May 13, 2011 | 12:45 pm

George W. Bush

George W. Bush's reaction to Barack Obama's phone call earlier this month upon learning the news of Osama bin Laden's death in Pakistan was congratulatory but not joyful.

"Good call," Bush said when Obama telephoned him soon after the SEAL Team 6 raided the terrorist's million-dollar hideout in Abbottabad and shot and killed its target.

The former president was in Las Vegas on Wednesday speaking to hedge-fund managers when he revealed the conversation he had with Obama, ABC News reports.

"I was eating souffle at Rise Restaurant with Laura and two buddies," Bush explained, referring to his wife and friends, when he was notified that Obama wanted to speak with him about the mission that had just been accomplished. 

"I excused myself and went home to take the call," Bush said, according to an ABC contributor who was at the speech in Las Vegas. "Obama simply said 'Osama bin Laden is dead.' "

When asked about his reaction to the news, Bush said that he was "not overjoyed' to hear about the death of the Al Qaeda leader because the desire to hunt him down was not borne "out of hatred but to exact judgment."

Bush said that he met the SEAL Team 6 in Afghanistan and was impressed with them.

"I said, 'I hope you have everything you need. One guy said, 'We need your permission to go into Pakistan and kick ass,' " the 43rd president said.

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-- Tony Pierce
twitter.com/busblog

Photo: In this April 12, 2011 file photo, former president George W. Bush makes opening remarks at the The 4% Project, Driving Economic Growth conference at SMU, in Dallas. Credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File

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