November 11th, 2008
05:36 PM ET
3 years ago

Bush names his regrets, praises Obama

 Bush reflected on his presidency Tuesday.
Bush reflected on his presidency Tuesday.

(CNN) - As his presidency nears its end, a reflective President Bush suggested Tuesday he regrets some of his more blunt statements on the war on terror over the last eight years.

"I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said," Bush told CNN's Heidi Collins Twhen asked to reflect on his regrets over his two terms as president. "Like 'Dead or Alive' and 'Bring 'em on.' My wife reminded me that, hey, as president of the United States be careful what you say."

The interview, aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York City, came after the president addressed a Veterans Day Ceremony.

Shortly after the attacks of September 11, the president said of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden: "I want justice. There's an old poster out West that said, 'Wanted, dead or alive.' " Bush was also criticized in 2003 for his answer addressing insurgents in Iraq.

"There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring them on," he said then.

The president said he wishes he had not spoken in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner he declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq on May 1, 2003. The now-infamous moment occurred aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln only a month after U.S. troops in Iraq were deployed.

Full story

soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. Hopeful for Tomorrow

    President Bush is going to have plenty of time to reflect. Any decent man will acknowledge the mistakes they've made. Hindsight is 20/20. I didn't vote for Bush but I wish him well.

    November 11, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. Daniel

    Georgie isn't an evil man, he's just kind of an idiot that chose to surround himself with some legitimately evil people. Even if he does feel these regrets, I wonder if we'd be hearing them if his approval rating was at 40%.

    "No More Bush!" Forget that, it's "No More Cheney, No More Rove!"

    November 11, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Scott

    Mr. Bush, how about regretting that you failed to live up to your promise, which you made at the center of Ground Zero, that those who did this would be brought to justice. Here we are over 7 years later, and Bin Laden is still alive, a veritable poster boy for those "who get away with it". Truly pathetic. Why Americans don't rise up and demand satisfaction is appaling. Harry Truman once said, "The buck stops here". The same applies to Bush, 9/11 happened on his watch, we entered two wars which we are still in, and he's leaving with nothing accomplished while Bin Laden is enjoying his tea and crumpets in the Pakistani mountains. Pathetic.

    November 11, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. tom

    Why couldn't he have been as gracious to the United States people.We were nothing more than statistics and fodder to make the rich richer.We can only blame ourselves the man is an idiot.And we let him stay what was our alternative–Cheney?

    November 11, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Jane Barrett

    The only time I actually support Pres Bush was when he said Dead or Alive and Bring it On. After that he was just ineffective and destructive, witness our economy and world affairs.

    November 11, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. FreeNLovIt

    I never voted for him but I always knew in my heart, he was a good man. It's too bad he's not surrounded by good people.

    November 11, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. Enjoying life to the fullest! :)

    That's nice of him. Maybe it will get written into the history books and all will turn out well just like it did for SCROOGE!

    November 11, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. California Gold

    Bush has made so many cringe worthy remarks, blunders and stupid statements. It's become the hallmark of his Presidency. His place is history.

    November 11, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Enjoying life to the fullest! :)

    That's very nice of him. Maybe it will get written into the history books and all will turn out well just like it did for SCROOGE!

    November 11, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. FAYE, NV

    That was a nice speech from Bush I am sure he has many regrets and wish he did many things differently.

    November 11, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. michael

    Wow, where have you been? The way you carry yourself now is much more palatable.

    November 11, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. jr california

    WOW... most genuine things i've ever heard come out of his mouth. i'm shocked, in a good way. he finally seems like a real person.

    November 11, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Mike

    Well said President Bush. Enjoy your retirement. Now Republicans please wake up and realize your mistakes. Come back in 2012 with a man of the people like Bobby Jindal. No Corporate Billionaire Romney. No neocon, negative, divisive Sarah Palin.

    November 11, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. Pam

    Hey George, where's binLaden?

    November 11, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. JJ

    We can certainly blame plenty of things on Bush (see Iraq War, Bin Laden and wiretapping). Of course, people feel differently about those issues depending on their views and beliefs.

    That said, why is everyone pinning the economy squarely on Bush's shoulders? Really, I didn't realize the President of this country had total control over the corporations and consumers of this country! Come on people, you might not like many of his decisions as President, but he didn't cause this recession.

    Maybe we should place more blame on ourselves and see how we as Americans have gotten used to spending outside our means and buying everything on credit.

    November 11, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Michelle

    I wish President Bush would have made more inroads to help people here in the US who are suffering from HIV/AIDs. I also wish he would do something now to help the growing number of veterans who have physical and mental illnesses that they will never recover from as a result of this senseless and unnecessary war. I'd like to hear him comment on these things. There's a an interview we'd all like to see.

    November 11, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Sarah

    You did Laura proud, George. Good for you. She and our country deserved better than what you gave. Maybe you will be forgiven some day.

    Maybe you can instill such goodwill in the cowardly rednecks, racists, and neocons who hold you so dear.

    November 11, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. mya

    Awwww, That's nice Georgie, we'll take it from here...!!!!

    November 11, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Dee

    You folks who continue to insist the GW is an "idiot" need to look in the mirror.

    November 11, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. Chela

    You know, given that Bush didn't do much campaigning for the election of McCain (because of the toxic nature of his presidential legacy), it may be true what he says about believing the election of Obama is good for our country. He certainly doesn't like McCain ...

    And how about hearing from the folks who really were in charge these last 8 years: Cheney, Rove and Norquist? I agree with Daniel on this one – I think Bush was no more than a puppet at the hands of the true "Axis of Evil".

    November 11, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. maurice

    cott November 11th, 2008 5:42 pm ET

    Mr. Bush, how about regretting that you failed to live up to your promise, which you made at the center of Ground Zero, that those who did this would be brought to justice. Here we are over 7 years later, and Bin Laden is still alive, a veritable poster boy for those "who get away with it". Truly pathetic. Why Americans don't rise up and demand satisfaction is appaling. Harry Truman once said, "The buck stops here". The same applies to Bush, 9/11 happened on his watch, we entered two wars which we are still in, and he's leaving with nothing accomplished while Bin Laden is enjoying his tea and crumpets in the Pakistani mountains. Pathetic. _____________________________________________________scott sorry to tell you this but bin laden actually happened on clintons watch 1st. clinton also had the chance to take bin laden out but didnt. read your history. although i dont agree with bush on everything and wouldnt vote for him again. he is the president and that i will respect. just as obama will be the president and that i will respect. so scott perhaps your the 1 who pathetic

    November 11, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. Rick from San Diego

    If Bush had approached his presidency in the same manner in which is took control and spoke immediately after the 9/11 attack, he would not be facing such criticism. Instead he wanted to get revenge which is never a good reason to go to war. Instead he abused his position and caused the rest of the world to think less of the US. I hope the new administration will be able to restore America's credibility and reputation in the world. We are the most powerful nation, but we need to use that to bring peace, not war.

    November 11, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    He is tetling the truth!!!

    November 11, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. dj from Connecticut

    Well as they say, when one door closes, another opens! Let's hope Obama opens the right door into the right direction! There is a tremendous burden weighing heavy on his shoulders and the world is watching every move he makes. He needs and deserves whatever support we can contribute.

    November 11, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. Peter

    I regret John McCain did not win the Republican presidential nomination in 2000. That is the first step GOP goes down...to let a clown to represent them... And Palin is famale version of Bush without a famous father...

    November 11, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11