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. Ed Flanagan

    He just doesn't get it!

    November 28, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. Ken

    The world biggest terrorist!!

    November 28, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. AC in CB

    He sold his soul to the money that got him elected. He will be known for the war in Iraq, because he lied about it. The Bush legacy will be one of the worst presidents ever.

    November 28, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Greg

    In other words, he did not learn from his mistakes. As a result he consistently and persistently ran this country into the ground.

    November 28, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Sezi Demirkilic

    What he'd like to be remembered as and what he'll be remembered as are two VERY different things. He is going to be remembered as one of the worst Presidents the US has ever had. He has brought so much destruction and hate upon our country's soul such as no other soul could have. Bush should be locked up for his crimes on humanity and his values and morals are way below the normalcy level of any other human's. I can't believe he still walks around with his head high, but then his ego is so big he looks through rose colored lenses. His last day of reign can't get here soon enough!

    November 28, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. JC

    It's a tossup between Bush and Carter. For those of you alive then, Carter was much worse, and managed to do his damage in only 4 years. History has, unfortunately, looked too kindly on this incompetent peanut farmer, who brought us inflation, international impotence, slavery to OPEC, gas lines, Iranian-funded Muslim fanaticism, Arafat (who did more harm to the Palestinian cause than good, courtesy of Jimmy)...the list goes on. Bush has a similar list, perhaps longer, but hopefully easier to course-correct (we're still dealing with Carter's mistakes, and his unwillingness to retire just reminds us of them). Hopefully history won't forgive Bush as it did Carter. Go Obama!

    November 28, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Values, what values?

    It's laughable that he takes pride in leaving with his twisted values intact. Those values include torture, lying about going to war, ignoring science, fighting stem cell research, corporate malfeasance, firing those who don't agree with you, etc...It proves how truly ignorant he is. So much so that the american people universally rejected his policies and beliefs and elected someone totally opposite of him. Good luck and good riddance.

    November 28, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. joe6shooter

    Unfortunately, Mr. Bush you will be remembered as the American public's biggest mistake and one of history's worst criminals. And to say you didnt sell your soul? You mean by definition only, No transfer of title of ownership occurred but you surely secured your place in and on the dark side. Any light of Love that was ever within you was extinguished long ago.

    November 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. George

    It is hard to imagine that there would be any buyers for Bush's soul, which is probably nonexistant anyway.

    November 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    "did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process."

    what

    are u serious

    November 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Dorothy Jefferson

    The truth hurts .

    November 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Hajji

    Any District Attorney from a district where an American serviceman was killed in Iraq can bring murder charges against Bush and Co. after they're out. I pray that Bush, Cheney, Woo, Gonzalez, Addington, Miller, Feith, et. al spend the rest of their lives going from one courtroom to another defendending themselves against murder charges. Happy Thanksgiving.

    November 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Jeremy

    You can't sell your soul if you didn't have one to begin with.

    November 28, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Frank

    Goodbye to a man who was raised an elitist and who's greatest contribution to our country was being such a poor president that the election of Barack Obama became possible.

    November 28, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. Lynne

    I'm afraid that he better worry about his soul. He has the lives of 150,000 dead Iraq's on his hands, not to mention the brave soldiers that died for his oil.
    Guantanamo! OMG
    He's gonna have some 'splanin to do

    November 28, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. Babarain NC

    Why don't you try it and see how far you get? I would personally would defend him and put you down if you tried it.

    November 28, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. doug

    That's because he ha no soul to sell

    November 28, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Xavier

    Mr. President,
    You will be remembered for being exactly what you were, a total and complete failure. The world will be a much better place when you are no longer in office.

    November 28, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. joe butler

    I wholeheartedly agree with the other responders. How this person could act as he is doing after destroying my (our) country is beyond me. I have always been proud to be an American, but after George's War and the repercussions, I have to think. Could we have possibly had a worse person in office the last 8 years? My reasoning is ineptness, not malice for his shortcomings, but that does not vindicate what he has done. Go away George, go away George, the sooner the better!

    November 28, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Frank in Idaho

    I'm still trying to figure out how he became president in the first place.

    November 28, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  21. Jason

    Don't let the door hit you in the buttocks on your way out, Mr. President.

    November 28, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. David/Florida

    He should RESIGN N O W , the bastard.

    November 28, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. Fred

    Pathetic. Just go away.
    We have suffered enough because of his "values'. I cannot think of one thing that he has not totally screwed up over the last eight years.
    He has a legacy. He is the worst president we have ever had in the history of the United States of America, some legacy.

    November 28, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. elmo San Diego

    Bush lost his soul for every serviceman or women and every Iraq civilian that lost their life for his folly in the last 8 years. I think he always knew there were no WMD's–he just wanted a legacy...And I think he got one. The worst president in the history of the US.

    November 28, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. Babarain NC

    Why don't you try it and see how far you get? I would personally would defend him and put you down if you tried it.

    November 28, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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