Melbourne: The Dalai Lama has revealed that the global leader he really loves is former US president George W Bush.
The world’s best-known Buddhist made the comment after being pressed by CNN’s Piers Morgan to list the influential figures he admired the most, News.com.au reported.
But his love for the politician has certain limits.
“I love President Bush ... as a human being,” the holy man told Morgan.
“Not as a president of America. Some of his policies may not be very successful. But as a person, as a human being, very nice person. I love him,” he added.
The Tibetan spiritual leader said he previously told the former president he was not such a big fan of his policies in the Middle East.
I told him “I love you, but your policies [in the Middle East], I have some reservations,” he said.
In a broad interview that touched on his personal life, the Buddhist told Morgan he is sometimes tempted by women, despite having taken a vow of celibacy, and has never taken drugs or imbibed alcohol.
He also said he believed the principles behind last year’s Arab Spring were “very good” and called on China to stop censoring its people.
When asked if he knew who entertainment mogul Simon Cowell was. The Dalai Lama replied “No”, prompting the British host to quip, “Right answer!”
After the broadcast Morgan tweeted, “This has been my favourite show since I joined #CNN - such a fascinating, funny, inspiring and thought-provoking man”.