George W. Bush: 'I'm Comfortable With What I Did'

As his presidential library nears opening, Bush speaks on life after politics.

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From left, Baylor President Ken Starr, former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura stand during the playing of the national anthem before a second-round game against Florida State in the women's NCAA college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, in Waco, Texas.
From left, Baylor President Ken Starr, former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura stand during the playing of the national anthem before a second-round game against Florida State in the women's NCAA college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, in Waco, Texas.

Former President George W. Bush says he remains pleased with his record in office and still delights in needling his critics.

"I'm comfortable with what I did," he told the Dallas Morning News in advance of the dedication of his presidential library and museum April 25. "I'm comfortable with who I am."

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However, Bush remains very unpopular with Americans. Many blame him for the country's economic problems and for getting the United States into the war in Iraq, which is widely considered to have been a mistake.

Bush said he enjoys painting, and specializes in landscapes, self portraits and pictures of dogs. "People are surprised," he said. "Of course, some people are surprised I can even read." This is a reference to the long-time critique of Bush as an intellectual lightweight.

Bush also is getting some positive attention this week because he and his wife Laura have become grandparents. Their daughterJenna Bush Hager has given birth to a girl, Mila.

[READ: Obama‚Äôs Approval Slips Below 50 Percent]

The Bush library and museum opens to the public on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas on May 1.

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  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com and followed on Facebook and Twitter.