Tony Blair was no poodle, US President George W. Bush said in a newspaper interview published Wednesday.
Bush said that he and the outgoing British prime minister had worked together to achieve world peace - and told The Sun that the accusations leveled against Blair were nothing more than "background noise."
"I've heard he's been called Bush's poodle," The Sun quoted Bush as saying. "He's bigger than that. This is just background noise, a distraction from big things."
Bush said history would be kind to Blair, and that whatever the public perception, the two dealt with each other on an equal footing. "Somehow our relationship has been seen as Bush saying to Blair 'jump' and Blair saying 'how high?' but that's just not the way it works. It's a relationship where we say were both going to jump together."