November 28th, 2008
06:10 PM ET
5 years 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. Deb

    Will someone please explain those values to the millions whose losing their jobs and thousands lives lost in Iraq. I don't question your faith or your values but have concerns about your use of power.

    November 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. jenn in Atl

    Apparently he still has not heard what we are saying. Mr. Bush your attempt at being 'our' president was a failure. Please leave and do no more harm.

    November 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Donna from Colorado Springs

    He did sell his soul and anything else he could get his hands on! I think that George W Bush is the worst president that I've ever seen in my lifetime.

    November 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Peter (CA)

    "I'd like to be...(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."

    I didn't do any of those things but that is how I would like to be known.
    Sorry, Mr. President, you may not have literally sold your soul but your actions show that you bought the agenda of some very bad people and helped to push it onto the world.

    You leave office with the world a much more dangerous and treacherous place.

    November 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. josh

    you all make me sick, not him

    November 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. vic

    Just go!

    November 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Disdainful vet

    After trying to destroy the US Constitution (but failing), impose his tribal, goat-herder religious mores on the country (but failing), diminish the US status in the world community (successful), garnering historical acclaim as a great warrior (but failing), allowing the gutting of the US economy through the mortgage ponzi scheme (nearly successful), this silver-spooned dolt, boastful of his walking style, brags that his mind is just as vacuous now as when he came to office and will take that vacuum home; good riddance.

    November 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Moderate Republican

    Bush,

    You'll be known as a fool & a simpleton.

    You allowed Cheney & the other NeoCon idiots to own Foreign Policy agenda / vision. You also allowed an alarming amount of partisianship to occurs in many many levels of the Govt. How many unqualified / fit-to-be-in-their-positions did you allow as permanent jobs?

    Ooops in many parts of the country you already are. See your legacy has already been entrenched! At best you'll be simply be seen as a tragic, pity figure once the anger subsides [many years from now], and a low point in modern U.S. politics.

    November 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. gerry

    How could he sell something he never had in the first place?

    November 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Cindy- St. Louis

    This is sickening. The man is clueless, but thank God, the country isn't.

    Here's to better days ahead, with the "real America" shining through.

    November 28, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    you petty people

    November 28, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. Steve in Portland

    He obviosly had no or very low values going in and leaves with the same. He has no grasp of the debris he leaves in his wake, crushing our economy, our militay, our reputation, and our future. He is either delusional or does not have the berrys to face up to how bad he has hurt this country. Good ridance "W".

    November 28, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. dave

    he must have been smoking a big fatty if he actually believes what he says.

    November 28, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. g

    He's a total moron and will go down in history as the absolute worse President of the United States. He needs to go to his ranch in Crawford and hopefully stumbles as he is stringin barbwire

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

    How delusional is George Bush to think that is "legacy"will be anything other than the destruction of America?? January 20, 2009 cannot get there soon enough. Bush is a disgrace to America and it's people.

    November 28, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    I wonder what planet he is from ? He still does not get what a disaster he has been.
    I wish more people would have seen that the top priority of this Administration was to get Sadaam, to clear the family name for not getting him in the first war. Daddy was smarter than son.
    The new Administration will have his hands full cleaning up the mess he has made.
    All we can do is hope.

    November 28, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Appleton, WI

    OMG! He is hallucinating. If he was any kind of human being, he would leave today. Help us all!

    November 28, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Redraike

    I'd like to think that being President and the most powerful person in the world would serve to change a man for the better. To remain static, to not improve in such an experience, only highlights the diminutive intellectual stature of this man.

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

    what values????
    put him on trial right now!

    November 28, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Madison WI

    Idiot! We could still impeach him if congress and the senate had any backbone.

    November 28, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Gael

    I would like to think our President would make decisons based on what is right for our country not his personal "cowboy" values. Oh, silly me!

    November 28, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Nazir Jamal

    Regardless of his mistakes, we have to be grateful to him for taking this high office and I strongly believe he did his utmost to improve the quality of our lives

    November 28, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Connie in Tennessee

    A Republican has VALUES??? That makes me laugh.

    November 28, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Nornan, ok

    Bush/Cheney 4 more years!!!!!!!!!

    November 28, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. larry

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    November 28, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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