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. Brenda in Detroit

    This guy is too much. He didn't mention any regrets for letting people in Lousiana drown after Katrina, didn't mention lying to the American people which let to illegally invading a country that never harmed America. Didn't mention how sorry he was that he spyed on Americans, used the Patriot Act to intimidate us. Didn't mention that he regretted letting not capturing Bin Laden and the list goes on. America is so ready for a new chapter. Goodbye George. We want a fresh start and for that we look to President Obama.

    November 11, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Spider Dan

    President Bush did something few Democrats and no liberal could ever do: find a difficult situation, confront it, and stick to his guns throughout. In spite of the most vile, immature, and fraudulent attacks made on this man, he never - once - reduced himself to the level of those waging those attacks.

    President Bush withstood incredible political and personal pressure to succumb to the outrageous demands made by so many feckless and inane critics. I didn't agree with him on many issues, but his courage during this incredibly difficult time will be long remembered - long after these morons - that refer to him as an "idiot', etc. - are little more than residue in history's septic tank. History will be much kinder to President Bush than those aforementioned critics. America is not a weaker or lesser nation because of his administration; America is weaker and lesser because of the selfishness and vitriolic nature of his opponents.

    If you think the Bush administration was hard to swallow, just wait until this pandering socialist and racist - recently elected to the office - has a chance to bankrupt the government and place targets on every legitimate American around the world. But, then again, this is CNN's blog, and no legitimate American expects anything less from these public comments than what we've endured for the past eight years.

    November 11, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. Glad to be Free

    I don't really understand where the animosity towards The President comes from. We are a free country – he has helped keep it that way. We are able to speak our own minds, do our own things without interference from anyone. I just read where a blogger in another country got 20 years for just writing a humorous piece on one of their leaders. This is a great place to live. If you think about it, people are actually (literally) dying to get into this country and the only ones I see who say they want to get out are hollywood stars when the election doesn't go their way. I don't recall anyone actually leaving though and staying out. I support this country no matter who leads it and firmly believe there is nowhere else in the world where I would be better off.

    November 11, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Jack

    Interesting that George Bush "only" regrets a few (public) slips of the tongue when he was the "great decider" that brought this country to the brink of economic ruin!

    George Bush squandered a $3 trillion surplus and ran up a bill for all of us to pay of over $10 trillion and he only regrets a few slips of the tongue.

    Wow, this man has no shame, he has personally been responsible for ruining the lives of millions of families and he doesn't have a clue or he just doesn't care.

    November 11, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 Years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    His prancing aboard the carrier with the "Mission Acomplished" banner, showed his Arogance.
    His negligence is responding to Katrina showed his Incompetence.
    His politicizing the Justice Department by staffing the US attorneys office right wing Falwell Liberty Lawschoolers (Monica Goodling, et al.), showed his Corrpution.

    We are a forgiving people, but Bush did a lot of damage to the fabric of our country and left Obama with a hell of a mess.

    November 11, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. The Stallion & The Champ vs. The Old Mule & Winky Half-baked Alaska

    Only those two ignorant and pseudo-machismo comments, Georgie-boy? Puh-lease!!!

    November 11, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. independent

    Oh Dubya, he can't help himself, he was born with a silver hoof in his mouth. Ann Richards, Gov Texas.(RIP)

    November 11, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  8. uncle boopy

    oh well, as long as he's sorry NOW...that makes all the difference...

    November 11, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. lars

    it's too late for regrets. Bush & friends are directly responsible for the deaths of over 4000 americans & severely injuring 35000more. He is directly responsible for the deaths of over 500 000 Iraqis and over 3 million refugees. There is nothing to be said for him, his administration or his friends except for "good riddance". Only the dead can forgive him now.

    November 11, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. Finistere

    maybe he could spend time behind bars writing about ALL of the dumb things he said and did. Worst ever.

    November 11, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    There is a whole lot he should be regretting. He has no one else to blame for the sorry state of "everything" that he brought this country to since becoming president.

    Thank GOD it is almost over!!!

    November 11, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. Dianne

    You may long for justice but the # 1 guy is not in a cave, he's enjoying life harboured by one of the sympathetic countries. Bombing Afghanistan isn't going to get him. He's laying low enoying life. Give it up and move on! The ECONOMY is the issue. In the end, if you allow the ECONOMY to go down, he wins!

    Move on!

    November 11, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  13. Mark

    Under President Bush, the evil governments of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein were overthrown and the latter justifiably executed. This would never have happened under a Democrat administration.

    The economic crisis was caused entirely by liberal Democrat-backed lending policies that cannot be blamed on President Bush.

    Democrats from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton to Barney Frank to Chris Dodd to Maxine Waters to Gregory Meeks to Barack Obama all pushed for financial institutions to give home loans to the poor or face charges of discrimination. The result was our current economic crisis brought on by years of failed liberal Democrat lending policies. How ironic that the guilty party has been granted authority to continue its damage to our economy.

    November 11, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. 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."

    You'er definitely part of the problem.

    November 11, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. t. swift

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    November 11, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Janice

    this is exactly what went wrong with this man, It's all about him. He doesn't regret what he done to America he regrets a few things that he said. Not one mention of the dead or wounded soldiers, the horrendous shape that he has left us in. I regret that I ever heard of George W. Bush.

    November 11, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. Kenyon

    I am sorry, Bush now wants to make regrets, well his first one should have been fabricating evidence to go war in (which thousands of Americans have died not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's that had to perish) Iraq and when anyone disagreed with the Al Queda-Iraq connection they were called traitors, when anyone dissented in opinion with this war they were against America and called unpatriotic. When Katrina hit he was aloof and could not be found... And Brownie did a heck of a job while a major U.S. city went under water. Bush has a lot of things he should regret and the one thing he should have regretted the most was running for the presidency to begin with... His whole presidency was a regret and mistake one which he can never take back!

    November 11, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. Gia

    He needed his WIFE to remind him to speak correctly? What is he, 4?

    November 11, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  19. Pathrick Neid

    On all but domestic spending, resulting in unbalanced budgets, history will be very kind to George Bush. The Obama devotees are about to get a date with reality when the anointed one adopts virtually all of Bush's approachs to the war on terror. Of course there will be changes at the margin in a "pretend" move to appear different but all the insiders will know, as they have all along, Obama will follow the blazed path and we will be the better for it.

    November 11, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. TruthWalksOnWater

    I'm dreaming, right.? Bush admitting these were not good moves?
    Obama is truly changing the letter of the alphabet at a time

    November 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  21. Thomas Mc

    90% of the planet regrets that Bush ever walked into the Oval Office.

    November 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. openhand

    Some traitors sell their country out for ideals their country does not share, some sell out to their friends lust for wealth and power.

    November 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. Ignatz Farquad

    Jail for Bush, war criminal and liar.

    November 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |

    I cannot believe he does not regret the Iraq war, so many lives loss, so much unnecessary pain and suffering with nothing in return, our bravest men and women who sacrificed everything so this guy can look tuff for the world. I wish those we loss were all home to celebrate the holidays with their kids on their laps, or putting together toys for their kids, walking their daughters down the aisle, or just plain here for those who love them so dearly. They are heroes never the less. Mr. Bush may have had a personal beef with Sodom, but I do not think he had a right to use our troops to settle that beef. Oh well – he says he sleeps just fine so I guess he is a tuff guy after all, most people would have circum to guilt long ago.

    November 11, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. Michael Sullivan

    Stupid is evil when it's in the White House.
    There's no excuse for President Bush's behavior these past 8 years.
    None whatsoever.

    November 11, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
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