Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Former President Bush gives speech day after collapsing on golf course
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Former President George H.W. Bush addressed a crowd in Los Angeles Monday night, a day after he collapsed from dehydration at the home of a friend in the Southern California desert.
The 82-year-old former President limped on stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with a cane in hand, but didn't use it to support himself.
Bush spoke about the incident that sent him to the hospital on Sunday, telling the audience that he became tired after playing golf in high temperatures.
"The next thing I remember ... I fainted and I was on the floor," he told the crowd.
He joked: "The ugliest part was my dear friend from Las Vegas (a male friend) was giving me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. We had about six beautiful girls there and there was (my friend) doing his part."
Bush was released early Monday from Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. His chief of staff said he was kept there overnight simply as a precaution.
Bush addressed a crowd of about 200 people as part of a speaker series at the Music Center of Los Angeles. He received a standing ovation when he came out and a warm reception throughout his speech. But later, during a question and answer period, he was heckled by a man who criticized Bush's son, President George W. Bush, for his handling of the war in Iraq.
Security personnel descended on the heckler, but Bush told them not to remove the man.
In a testy exchange with the heckler, the elder Bush said of his son: "He's an honest and decent man and he calls them as he sees them, contrary to what you read in these left-wing tabloids."
He said that anyone who claims the United States is terrorizing Iraq through its military occupation should remember the way Saddam Hussein terrorized his country while he was in power.
-- CNN's Matt Carey
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