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.

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soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    He needs his wife to remind him what to say as a President of United States?! And Dick Cheney to tell him what to do, no doubt.
    Arrhg, eight years of shame!

    November 11, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Phillip Bunn

    Bush and Cheney should be tried for war crimes. They can apologize on their way to prison.

    November 11, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. meme

    I agree with everyone. Yes he surrounded himself with the wrong folks, he unlike President Elect Obama, didn't choose his administration wisely, and for the ones like Colin Powell, who was his own man which is why he resigned was probably the most sensible. However, I wish this idiot the best of luck, because he has made history, and not good history. However, Laura Bush is a charm she's sweet as American Apple Pie, I've always like her.

    November 11, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. Curt - Atlanta

    NOTHING ACCOMPLISHED! – January 2001- January 2009

    Good riddance Mr. Bush....

    November 11, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. Anita of georgia

    The Administration of George W. Bush has been a complete failure. Don't take my words for it. Just look how many homes people has lost to foreclosure. Look at how many banks has had to close their doors. Look at how many jobs are being lost. Look at how many people has lost money in their retirement accounts, and people that are not retirement age, but has lost money in their 401K's. Look at the number of adults and children that does'nt have health or dental
    insurance. By all means don't forget these never ending wars our military is still fighting, not just one tour of duty. but as many tours as needed. This economic crisis is effecting everyone, the young, the old, the rich and the poor. All Americans could tell he had did a poor job running this country, by just watching John McCain and the rest of the Republicans running for re- election avoid him like the plague.

    November 11, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. David

    A little late for reflection, Mr. President.

    November 11, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. Ted:Canada

    BE NICE!
    let the guy walk away with "some" dignity...

    BIGGER PROBLEMS AHEAD

    AMERICAN AUTO INDUSTRY -- GONE!!!!!

    No baliout will help!
    watch for radical change in the AUTO engine from abroad

    GM gone totally – followed by FORD – if you do not create a totally "NEW" auto.....FIRST!

    November 11, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. g ontario canada

    why did he attack iraq who had nothing to do with 911 why did not 100% EFFORT into getting osama bin ladin afganistan alQAEDA would have been destroyed

    November 11, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. Mike Dallas

    I know it is not gracious to beat up on someone, but I have been under the rule of this ego-maniacal tyrant for 16 years.

    So, NO COMMENT

    November 11, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Angie-OHIO

    I'm sure bush has many regrets. But I'm truely glad he and cheney's rein of terror is over. they have destroyed this country and we have never had so many countries that dislike America. bye to you and your old boy wrecking crew. Thank God for President Obama. I know it will take him a few years to undo what bush/cheney has done, so I can wait. If we lived through the last 8 years we can hang on for a few more.

    November 11, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. mrb

    I liked what William F. Buckley Jr. replied when asked what Bush's legacy to Bush will be. "I think his legacy is indecipherable"

    November 11, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. Akinola - Houston

    Over 2 million Iraqis are living in squalor in countries like Jordan, Syria etc. Girls are forced into prostitution just to be able to provide for their families. Over 100,000 Iraqis killed.

    I have not one ounce of sympathy for this man. All he regrets is "Bring 'em on"? Give me a break! How about regretting taking us to a war of choice that has devastated the Iraqi people.

    HE STILL DOES NOT GET IT!

    November 11, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Michael

    It's nice that he is saying these things. It's hard, however, for a few gracious, well-meaning comments erase eight disastrous years.

    November 11, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. RJII

    Any regret for the hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries you caused by lying about WMDs. Any regret dragging this country into Iraq based on that false truth and thus financially bankrupting the world.

    Naw. He just needs to pack his bags creep out in the night, tonight preferrably.

    November 11, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. grada3784

    A gross incompetent with a very serious daddy complex. As in egomaniac with an inferiority complex.

    I just hope we've learned not to eleect another alcoholic, recoveribg or not, to the presidency. And I say this as a recovering alcoholic, who got sober the same year Bush saw the light. I know my own problems and there's no way you'd want that in the White House. But we got it with Bush.

    November 11, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. Richard S

    His wife had to remind that he needs to be careful what he says – like he didn't realize that himself? He is a little, ignorant, stupid man – a man who should never have been PODUS.

    November 11, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. dan

    He is apologizing ahead since he will soon be tried as a war criminal. He has blood on his hand may realize that his time as a free man is coming to an end.

    November 11, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. db

    ...Katrina, Valerie Plame, Donald Rumsfield, "My Pet Goat", Walter Reed, Guantanamo, ON AND ON...

    I'm glad you finally seem to have discovered some sort of consience George- don't stop now while you're on a roll....

    November 11, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. Reality

    HAHA. Clinton did all sorts of dirty things when he left the white house. He and his staff took furniture, sabotaged computers, changed locks, etc., etc. When Bush says he will be "just as gracious" that must be what he means.

    November 11, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Erik

    I don't want to hear regrets. I want to hear an apology. Bush's greatest mistakes weren't simple slips of the tongue. He has not been a good steward to our nation and he should man up and own that.

    November 11, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. Cincy Voter

    Well it's good that Bush can admit he has regrets, but it's time to get him out of the WH. Like now. Seriously.

    Welcome, President Obama. I wish you could roll up your sleeves and get started today. :)

    November 11, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. Moonbay

    Daniel's right. George is just an idiot, surrounded by people just like his mom and dad, and all the "uncles" he was surrounded with when he was a kid. Too bad we let those "family" members steal those two elections.

    The Bush years are the worst kind of wake-up call to us that we MUST stay engaged in the political process; Sarah waits in the wings.

    Thankfully, Obama seems invested in bringing "we the people" into the conversation. Already, he has inspired great numbers of Americans, and an entire new generation, to engage.

    If George launches himself into humanitarian work for the rest of his life, he might be resurrected in the eyes of all of us who recognize who much this country has lost in these last 8 years... May it be so.

    November 11, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    "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."

    Good people don't surround themselves with bad people.

    November 11, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    GWB is perhaps the third most cynical man in Washington. The first is Dick Cheney and the second is Justice Clarence Thomas.

    November 11, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  25. Bikerdude

    I regret that he ever became POTUS. He IS a mistake. He has failed at every turn and yet some of us felt comfortable in putting him in charge of our country. His failed administration will go down in history as the worst ever. It will take us decades to get out of this chaotic mess he has left behind. Good riddance George!

    November 11, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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