In her interview with the former president in advance of his new book being released next week, Oprah Winfrey asked Mr. Bush yesterday about the next elections.
The talk show host, now in her 25th and final season, posed the question: "Do you think that Sarah Palin is 'the one' for the Republican Party in 2012?"
"You know, I am not a political pundit. I'm really not. And secondly, a lot is going to happen between now and the nominating process," he responded.
When Winfrey pressed further, Mr. Bush kept his lips sealed. "You're asking me to wade back into the swamp," he added.
In the interview, Mr. Bush also made it clear that he had no intention of criticizing presidents, current or future.
"I want to treat my successor the way I'd like to have been treated," he told Winfrey.
"I don't think it's good for a former president to be out there opining on every darned issue," Mr. Bush added. "He's got a plenty tough job. Trust me. And there's gonna be plenty of critics and he doesn't need me criticizing him."
Winfrey, a noted Obama supporter, first interviewed Mr. Bush in 2000 when he was a presidential candidate.
Mr. Bush is currently on tour promoting his upcoming memoir, "Decision Points," which goes on sale Tuesday, the same day the Oprah interview will air. The episode is also slated to include exclusive footage of a visit to the Mr. Bush family's Kennebunkport, Maine estate, as well as interviews with his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and Barbara Bush, according to the New York Times.
The tour marks a period of major visibility for the fairly private former president, who has declared that.
"I have zero desire, just so you know, to be in the limelight," he said in October. "I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president criticize his successor. You're not going to see me giving my opinions in the public arena, until I start selling my book. I'm going to emerge then submerge."