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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 25th, 2013
07:03 PM ET

Former chief of staff says Bush is a great man, just not a great portrait artist

Americans are looking back at the George W. Bush administration on dedication day for his presidential library Thursday. From hanging chads, to tax cuts, to the dark turn of 9/11, and Afghanistan, Iraq and Hurricane Katrina, everything is on display.

All five living past and present presidents were in attendance. Former President Bill Clinton gave memorable, humorous remarks, teasing Bush about his paintings.

"Your mother showed me some of your landscapes and animal paintings and I thought they were great. Really great. I seriously considering calling you and asking you to do a portrait of me, until I saw the results of your sister's hacked e-mails," said Clinton, drawing hearty laughter from George W. Bush. "Those bathroom sketches are wonderful, but at my age, I think I should keep my suit."

"President Clinton spoke the truth," said Andrew Card, former George W. Bush White House chief of staff. Card said Bush's landscapes and animal paintings are phenomenal, "but I understand the portrait he painted of his dad wasn't very good."

"Probably President Bush should not think of himself as a portrait artist," said Card, with a laugh.

On a more serious note, Card said the former president is not looking to change anyone's opinion with the opening of the Bush Library.

"He's looking for them to understand the burdens that he carried," said Card. "This museum is less a tribute to him, and more a tribute to the presidency, and a recognition of what it's like to be president."

Walking through the museum, visitors will encounter "Decision Points Theater," where they are given the opportunity to make decisions, as former President Bush did, on the information, intelligence, and advice that was available at the time.

The experience invites people to be a president, and "realize the decisions are brutally difficult, they're not easy," said Card.

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