According to the Cornell Daily Sun, Cleese, in an appearance on campus, turned serious and launched into an attack on former President George W. Bush:
Americans... are “much too respectful to the president,” said Cleese, who went on to say that George W. Bush would not be able to survive a single press conference in England.
“It’s pathetic!” he exclaimed. “This is the most important country in the world ... It’s embarrassing because we want America to be great. There is emotion when I said that that because in the 60s we looked up to the U.S. as a beacon, because it was a smart place.”
“Eight years of this rubbish,” he continued. “The Brits were asking, “where is the American’s sense of outrage?”
According to the article Cleese's talk was part of his duties as a visiting professor:
Cleese has been Cornell’s A.D. White Professor-at-large for eight years since 1999 — two years longer than the normal term. In 2006, he was re-appointed as the Provost’s Visiting Professor. Fuchs yesterday said that Cleese had just verbally agreed to extend the three-year term.