Image: George W. Bush
Charles Dharapak  /  AP
After former Federal Reserve Chairman bashed the president on the nation's spending, George W. Bush "respectfully" disagreed Tuesday.
updated 9/18/2007 5:47:49 PM ET 2007-09-18T21:47:49

President Bush on Tuesday defended his management of the economy and "respectfully" disagreed with former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whose new book blisters the president for mishandling the nation's spending.

"I would say that the record — our fiscal record — is admirable and good," Bush said in a broadcast interview with Fox News.

"I would respectfully disagree with the characterizations of Chairman Greenspan," the president later added in his first public response to Greenspan.

In his book, Greenspan accused Bush of racking up big budget deficits, saying the president and Congress' former Republican leaders abandoned the party's conservative principles favoring small government.

Bush took office in 2001, the last time the government produced a budget surplus. Every year after that, the government has been in the red. In 2004, the deficit swelled to a record $413 billion.

"My biggest frustration remained the president's unwillingness to wield his veto against out-of-control spending," Greenspan wrote in his book.

Bush, though, countered that the deficit remains low as a percentage of the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health.

"I would also argue that cutting taxes made a significant difference, not only with dealing with a recession and an attack on our country, but it also made a significant difference in dealing with the deficit," Bush said. "Because a growing economy yielded more tax revenues, which allows us to shrink the deficit."

Greenspan has done a series of high-profile interviews to promote his book, "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World."

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