Mr. Bush said he scheduled the trip just hours after General Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan and suspended elections "because when it comes to eliminating democracy, I thought my friend Pervez could benefit from my experience."
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Mr. Bush said that while he commended General Musharraf's impulse to eliminate democratic institutions, he felt that the military strongman was going about it the wrong way: "When you're getting rid of democracy, the last thing you want to do is tell people you're doing it."
Bush said that eliminating such things as privacy, freedom of speech and the constitution had to be done "very quietly and stealthy-like."
"If I had gone on TV one day and just ended democracy like Pervez did, I would have caught holy hell from Maureen Dowd," Bush chuckled. "You've got to be crafty about these things."
Bush chalked up Musharraf's decision to disclose the elimination of democracy as a "beginner's mistake," adding, "I've had six-plus years of practice at this."
He also criticized the Pakistani dictator's firing of the chief justice of the Supreme Court: "Trust me, if you're going to get rid of elections, a Supreme Court could come in handy."
Elsewhere, astronauts spent Saturday morning repairing a solar panel on the International Space Station, then spent the rest of the day drinking and stalking ex-lovers.