Former President George W. Bush steered clear of any detailed reflection on his legacy during a recent interview with USA Today, saying that his actions over eight years in the White House largely speak for themselves.

"There's no need to defend myself," Bush said in an interview published over the weekend, in anticipation of an opening ceremony for his presidential library at Southern Methodist University. "I did what I did and ultimately history will judge."

In the 30-minute interview conducted before last week's Boston Marathon bombing, Bush also urged people not to forget "the lessons of 9/11," saying that it was still evident that "evil exists still in the form of people who murder innocent people to advance a point of view."

Bush will be in Dallas on Thursday when the doors of his presidential library officially open, along with his father, George H.W. Bush; President Barack Obama; and every other living president. He's spoken repeatedly over the past month about the presidency that facility is meant to honor and has left the impression that he is content with focusing on being a new grandfather, golfing and painting, while avoiding public scrutiny over his decisions.

Speaking with the Dallas Morning News recently, Bush addressed his leadership on the Iraq War -- one of the most highly criticized chapters of his presidency -- saying that he was "comfortable" and "confident the decisions were made the right way."

USA Today also caught up with close friends and family of the former president, who said that Bush "feels totally at peace" with his record. Former Bush strategist Karl Rove said that he "has an inner confidence ... that what he did was right."

And while Bush and some of his closest allies suggest that there is nothing about his legacy that needs defending, other sources close to the former president have suggested that the $500 million presidential library is an attempt to patch up his scarred reputation.

A longtime Bush counselor told National Journal in a piece published Monday that the former president was "confident" he could improve his reputation.

“How else could he be?" the counselor said. "But he’s got a ways to go to mending his record -- if it can be done."

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  • George Washington (1789-97)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/georgewashington">1st President</a> of the United States (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images)

  • Thomas Jefferson (1801-09)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/thomasjefferson">3rd President</a> of the United States (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • James Madison (1809-17)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/jamesmadison">4th President</a> of the United States (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

  • James Monroe (1817-25)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/jamesmonroe">5th President</a> of the United States (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Andrew Jackson (1829-37)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/andrewjackson">7th President </a>of the United States (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Abraham Lincoln (1861-65)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/abrahamlincoln">16th President </a>of the United States -- Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865, after being inaugurated second term. (Photo by Alexander Gardner/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) <em><strong>Correction:</strong> A previous version of this text misstated the amount of time Lincoln had served during his second term before his assassination.</em>

  • Ulysses S. Grant (1869-77)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/ulyssessgrant">18th President</a> of the United States (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Grover Cleveland (1885-89, 1893-97)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/grovercleveland22">22nd</a> and <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/grovercleveland24">24th President</a> of the United States (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

  • William McKinley (1897-1901)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/williammckinley">25th President</a> of the United States -- McKinley was elected to a second term, but it came to a tragic end when he was assassinated in September 1901. (Courtesy of the National Archives/Newsmakers)

  • Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/theodoreroosevelt">26th President</a> of the United States -- After McKinley's assassination, Roosevelt completed that term and was then elected to his own term. (Photo by George C. Beresford/Beresford/Getty Images)

  • Woodrow Wilson (1913-21)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/woodrowwilson">28th President</a> of the United States (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Calvin Coolidge (1923-29)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/calvincoolidge">30th President</a> of the United States -- After President <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/warrenharding">Warren G. Harding</a> died of a heart attack in August 1923, Coolidge completed that term and then earned a term of his own. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/franklindroosevelt">32nd President</a> of the United States (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

  • Harry Truman (1945-53)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/harrystruman">33rd President</a> of the United States -- after <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/franklindroosevelt">FDR died</a> in April 1945 of a cerebral hemorrage, Truman completed that term, and was then elected to an additional term. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-61)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/dwightdeisenhower">34th President</a> of the United States (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

  • Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/lyndonbjohnson">36th President</a> of the United States -- after John F. Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, then-vice president Johnson took over. He completed Kennedy's term and was then elected to one term of his own. (AFP/Getty Images)

  • Richard Nixon (1969-74)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/richardnixon">37th President </a>of the United States -- Nixon was elected to a second term, but resigned in August 1974 over the Watergate scandal. (AFP/Getty Images) <em><strong>Correction:</strong> A previous version of this slide incorrectly listed Nixon as the 25th President of the United States.

  • Ronald Reagan (1981-89)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/ronaldreagan">40th President</a> of the United States (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Bill Clinton (1993-2001)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/williamjclinton">42nd President</a> of the United States (LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • George W. Bush (2001-09)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/georgewbush">43rd President</a> of the United States (SCOTT OLSON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama (2009-Present)

    <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/barackobama">44th President</a> of the United States (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)