Former US President George W Bush has paid a warm tribute to Bono, describing him as a very impressive man who really understood the issues facing the Third World.
In his book ‘Decision Points', Mr Bush tells how he was wary of do-gooder rock stars before their first meeting in the White House on March 14, 2002 — shortly before St Patrick's Day
“I was sceptical of celebrities who seemed to adopt the cause of the moment as a way to advance their careers,” he writes.
But he says in the book that Bono came bounding into the Oval Office with his “high voltage personality and signature shades” and “quickly dispelled the notion that he was a self-promoter”.
“He knew our budgets, understood the facts, and had well informed views about the challenges in Africa.” Mr Bush says that Bono brought him “a thoughtful gift — an old Irish Bible”.
Mr Bush says that his respect for Bono grew over time.
“Do you know that 2,003 verses of Scripture pertain directly to the world's poor?” Bono asked Bush.
“People are quick to point out the obvious sins like marital infidelity.
“But sometimes we ignore the most serious ones.”
The President was impressed with Bono's knowledge of scripture, saying he was “a man of genuine faith”.
However, when one of his staff asked if he knew who Bono was, Mr Bush said that of course he did — he was the rock star who “used to be married to Cher”.