November 28th, 2008
06:10 PM ET
7 months ago

Bush reflects on legacy: 'I'm leaving with the same set of values'

ALT TEXT

President Bush says he wants to be remembered as a president who stuck to his values. (GETTY IMAGES)

(CNN) - Reflecting on his eight-year presidency, President Bush said above all he would like to be remembered as a commander-in-chief who remained faithful to his values and "did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process."

In an interview with his younger sister, Doro Bush Koch, the president said he was forced to make several difficult choices during his tenure in the White House, but added "I darn sure wasn't going to sacrifice [my] values."

Excerpts of the interview, released by The White House [PDF]

"I came to Washington with a set of values, and I'm leaving with the same set of values," Bush told Koch in an interview taped earlier this month that aired on National Public Radio Thursday.

Bush also indicated he hopes his legacy is evaluated on success in the War in Iraq, America's efforts to combat AIDS, and the passage of Medicare legislation in 2003.

"I'd like to be a President (known) as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace; that focused on individuals rather than process; that rallied people to serve their neighbor; that led an effort to help relieve HIV/AIDS and malaria on places like the continent of Africa; that helped elderly people get prescription drugs and Medicare as a part of the basic package; that came to Washington, D.C., with a set of political statements and worked as hard as I possibly could to do what I told the American people I would do," Bush said.

In the same wide-ranging interview, Bush said it was a "fabulous experience to be president," but said he would not miss being in the daily spotlight.

"This is a job which, you know, obviously had a lot of stress to it; it has a lot of pressure," he said.

The interview was conducted for StoryCorps, a national oral history initiative.


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (743 Responses)
  1. John in Arizona

    Bush may not have sold his soul, but he did sell OURS. He says he never abandonded his values, so apparently Consititutional rights were never among his values, and his promise to uphold and defend them was hollow from the outset.

    November 28, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Ed H.

    What a pathetic human being. Go choke on a pretzel.

    November 28, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. jim

    "I came to Washington with a set of values, and I'm leaving with the same set of values,"

    Too bad these were the wrong set of values, at least for the USA.

    W, you're a disaster to the USA.

    November 28, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Joe

    Didn't sacrifice his values... just the country's economy, civil rights, reputation and thousands of lives...

    November 28, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. Chris

    What set of values is he talking about. He has no values.

    November 28, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Steve

    This man can not leave that office soon enough. W will not be missed! Don't let the front door hit you on the back side when you leave.

    November 28, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. Dale in Michigan

    You people are sick and disgusting. I'm really ashamed to read comments like this and to think that you are a part of our future. .

    November 28, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. tai

    He didnt sacrifice his values, but he didnt think twice before sacrificing the country and its future.

    November 28, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. David Pepperl

    You can't sell what you never had in the first place!

    November 28, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. petermas47

    The worst president in American history has values? Greed? Egotism? Fundamentalism? He dilapidated the wealth of the country and is responsible for the death of scores of people.He belongs in a tribunal.

    November 28, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. bud

    That's just super. Now, get the hell out of the way.

    November 28, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Sarah

    Worst president in US history. You can't sell your soul if you never had one to begin w/...

    November 28, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. J&A

    He "did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process." How can you sell that which you do not have.

    November 28, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. Sara from Arizona

    Good luck President Bush!!!!

    November 28, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Vermont Thoughts

    WOW...is his ego a bit over-inflated? I can thing of alot of homeless famliies as well as many out of work people who would argue very heavily with those values. And let's not forget those children who lost their health insurance so Bush, Cheney and Rove could fight a war they thought was needed to repay Suddam for 1992. He betrayed the American People. He and his partners in crimes, Cheney and Rove, should be ashamed of their values. They have NONE. May your maker be your Judge!!

    November 28, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Chris

    No, he sold the rest of our souls instead, so he and his buddies could reap the rewards. How anyone who's not filthy rich could support this guy is beyond me.

    November 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. Obama = Treason

    If the homeland is attacked after Obama begins his "rule" (to quote an Obama advisor) he MUST step down. George Bush has prevented such an attack. If we are attacked under an Obama administration it will be as the result of the God King inviting it. That is treason.

    November 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Preatorian, Ft. Myers

    And let's not forget that part of your legacy is:

    Defying logic and mandate–to side energy conglomerates–and reward them with windfall profits–creating economic disarray to the average salary earner.

    Creating enormous economic boom (in defense and energy) while ignoring the impact such decisions would have in the long term.

    And lastly–inventing incriminating evidence–to pursue a war in Iraq which has plummeted the nations moral–and skyrocketed the nations debt–with no beneficial outcome for either side–to date.

    November 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Salina

    Worse President in the history of the coutry, that's his legacy. People are dieing at higher and faster rates from AIDS in Africa than ever before, he's responsible for speeding up that process. He should be Impeached and locked up for crimes against humanity! Thousands of American soliders continue to die in pointless war. He basically murdered SadamHussain, Bush is a terriorist! and his administration too. And this country stood by and did nothing about it, but complained. WE should be ashamed of ourselves for letting it happen and for letting him serve his entire terms.

    November 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Steven

    "did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process."
    LMAO Georgie, Georgie haven't you ever heard that actions speak louder then words ?

    November 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Richard

    "I'm leaving with the same set of values"

    That's why he has the highest disapproval rating in its history.

    November 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Ric Bellizzi

    10 trillion in dept,100,00 dead Iraqis.4000 dead Americans from a war based on lies. Ethics from Bush that disregarded the Constitution. Wrecked environment. This article proves that he is insane and a idiot.

    November 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    So glad you never changed, Bush.... The rest of the world is a worse place because of you and your rotten 8 years. Stupid to the last moment and with no conscience at all.... WAR CRIMINAL

    November 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. andy

    Hmmm...

    After 12 years of public education, I'm proud to say I resisted the pressure to learn anything.

    November 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. dark days

    God, it's gonna be good to see you go....

    November 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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