November 11th, 2008
05:36 PM ET
7 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. JessWonderin

    POL-EZZZE . . . at this moment he is busy gutting environmental laws and granting favored "buddie" nice tax "relief" . . . how touching to have "regrets on the past" . . . HOW ABOUT TODAY?

    It's also telling that the "Mission Accomplished" banner is now just there and "aimed at the sailors" – when in FACT it was printed delivered and hung by the WH advance team – in a VERY conspicuous space for "camera" cropping . . .

    Sorry, the "poor me whine" is wasted when compared to the callous efforts to strip public protection in the environment, de-regulating Wall Street, economic and international failures compounded by the destruction of our Judicial System . . . .

    November 11, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. Jason

    He is as ignorant has he is stupid. What a retard. Hey Georgey did you go see W? It might be an eye opener for ya!

    November 11, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. John

    GWB is perhaps the fourth most cynical man in Washington. The first is Dick Cheney; the second is Karl Rove followed Justice Clarence Thomas.

    November 11, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. Stephane MOT - Paris, f

    No regrets for the few thousand dead GIs, the few tens of thousand wounded, the few hundreds of thousand dead Iraqi civilians in your illegal invasion ?

    November 11, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. Logic

    Historical amnesia makes light of some horrendous actions.

    Logic prevents me from forgetting that there never was an "immanent threat from Iraq." GW Bush knew that, and yet it was sold as this. Logic says that his administration was undeniably deceptive when they chose to start the Iraq war on this basis that they could not wait to verify the presence of WMD.

    In addition, logic undeniably shows a contradiction in Bush's mind about the threat of terrorism. He campaigned in 2004 for reelection, by scaring voters that we would be attacked by terrorism, and yet he appointed Brown, a clearly unqualified horse show lawyer, as the head of Federal EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Administration (FEMA). If Bush really thought that terrorism was a real threat to America, then why make a political patronage appointment to FEMA?

    These two points have the consequence of thousands of our American GI's dead, and a huge mess-up in both Iraq and the Gulf Coast. It is sad that the media and the public cannot distinguish nice guy posturing & personality imagery from the real deliberations and consequences of the exercise of power. It's really nuts that Palin gets hammered by the media because of her personality, and yet she didn't cause mega-death and disaster, and Bush gets a shrug because his public persona easily shrugs off responsibilty & accountability.

    November 11, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. jerry warsing

    All the MSM reported on bush was pretend and used to control the american people. F Bush and the Connecticut "ranch" on which he grew up!

    Hopefully, he will emigrate to his 100,000 acre "ranch" in Paraguay, and remain silent and inconspicuous like his fellow Nazis from WWll have attempted to do.

    I want to try to forget him!


    November 11, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. gregory james

    well if mr bush is a good man i donot want to see bad man !!! ARE YOU JOKING ME NO WAY IN HELL SIR ....

    November 11, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. Splurge

    Pretty short list he came up with there. Does he think god only listens to his words and not what's in his soul? He's in for a rude awakening.

    November 11, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. Jeff

    Too little, too late. I don't believe a word of it.

    November 11, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. SWLiP

    History will judge George W. Bush much more kindly than his contemporary detractors. He is a decent man who did his best to protect and defend us in a time of great peril. It is perhaps easy to forget that the Islamists would not hesitate to use the world's most horrific weapons against us given the opportunity to do so. That left him with no margin for error.

    Those who complain that he is leaving the war against Islamic terror unfinished are being disingenuous to the nth degree. President Bush himself said repeatedly after 9/11 that this conflict would probably last a generation or more.

    November 11, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. John

    Even now the so called progressives only have hate for President Bush. Well after the vitriol and nasty spew over the last eight years I am going to embrace the hate and strongly resist your messiah.

    As a preacher I can't name once said ' The chickens are coming home to roost". I got tolerance for you.

    November 11, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  12. Sid Abraham

    Whatever...and good riddance.

    November 11, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  13. Stan

    He remains an incompetent, corrupt simpleton who still fails to understand the misery he's caused. good man? Tell that to the millions who are dead, maimed, homeless, jobless because of him.

    November 11, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  14. M. WINNERS

    America has only one regret – Bush was POTUS...

    November 11, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. Common Sense

    Because of Obama's election, the American people look back at Bush and get that creepy feeling when one encounters an
    "How in the world did I ever date you?"

    November 11, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. Bob OConnor

    I want to thank Mr. Bush for creating the environment that has allowed Barack Obama to be President (Elect).

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

    I feel sorry for him, he got hoodwinked by Cheney, being pushed by him all the way.

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

    Mr. President, I think you come from a descent family and your wife seems to be a loving and respectful person. As for you, you sir are "doing too little eoo less".

    But I am glad to see you might.......just think you made a mistake or two!!

    November 11, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. allan

    the president is a war criminal. nothing less. he should be personally held responsible for lying to the world, at trhe U.N., to the congress, t the American people. He, the VP, Condi, Rumself... all of them should pay the consequences for their evil intent.

    November 11, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. allone

    Daniel, I reworded part of this cause I know my brother, sometimes we can get confused after the past 8 years in the Spin Cycle. "Georgie isn't an evil man, he's just kind of an idiot that was chosen and then surrounded by some legitimately evil people."

    November 11, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. silverball

    let's be honest without the nostalgia bs...the man is an IDIOT....he and his administration totally ignored WE, THE PEOPLE and acted as if they were dictators of a rogue honest with yourself and look at his he dribbles a few "regrets"...(as if that banner was not part of their photo op....remember when they said that it was done by the sailors on the lincoln....NOT TRUE)...give me a break...20 jan can't come soon enough for our will take more than a decade or more to repair the damage he and his administration has EVERYTHING ELSE this pathetic person has touched in his life he has F#@KED it up....bailed out or protected by daddy and his friends...usually the a little research and read some history of the fool.....

    November 11, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. Greed is not good

    Yes that was probably his biggest blunder for acting arrogant like a dictator and boasting "mission accomplished".

    The U.S. is not a fascist military dicatorship and he had no business putting on a flight suit and acting the way he did well before victory had been won. Adolf also bragged on German radio address that the Battle of Stalingrad had been won.

    November 11, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. Larry

    Stupid or evil – the same thing in the end.....

    November 11, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bush is still president and hasn't yet captured bin Laden during his term, now people think President-elect Obama is going to capture him as soon as he takes over the job is simply wrong. I predict Bin Laden will be captured by Pakistan or Iranian forces and used to make a deal with the U.S.

    November 11, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. John

    If you believe he was deceived by Cheney and Rove and was not in league with them, you are kidding yourselves.

    He graduated from Yale and managed to be elected President twice, if what you say is correct he was not only ignorant he was also a coward for not using his position as President to implement his own policies.

    November 11, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
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