November 28th, 2008
06:10 PM ET
5 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. Joe Nevada

    His next home is his 100,000 acre ranch in Chaco, Paraguay next to a small U.S. CIA Air Base called Mariscal-Estigarribia. Bush has spent millions of U.S. dollars up grading the Air Base and roads leading to it from his ranch.. Paraguay has NO extradition treaties with anybody and was a FAVROITE hide away for NAZI's after WW-2..

    So Bush will be right at home with the rest of the NAZI's still living there.

    November 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. What a jok

    Does this idiot realize he is the worst, most reviled President in the history of our country?

    November 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Ally

    What values he and the current administration have no values and do not care about this country if they did we would not be in the situation we are now. It is all about power and greed. He was not qualified to run this country and he is so arrogant he does not care that he will go down as the worst president this country has ever had and he does'nt even care he has already screwed it up and cannot leave soon enough.

    November 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. corey gabriel

    Good Riddence to this tone deaf fool

    November 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Michele

    Done? A lot more harm than good, I think. What he says he's done was not good enough. There's still time to repent, Mr. President.

    November 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Boise Idaho

    Just proof that he believes if he says the same thing enough it is the truth. He is a scary, scary man, and I hope the US learned it's lesson about electing stupid people to the highest office.........i.e. Sarah Palin.

    November 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. John

    delusional.

    November 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. chris ludlow

    Crimes against humanity? Barbara is the type of Democrat that started blogging against the President right after the 2000 election I'm sure. Also...the type of person who NEVER holds the sick twists, that had been attackng America all during the Clinton era and before, ACCOUNTABLE. And those billions of dollars of foriegn aide and positive results against disease in Africa? That will never be mentioned by people like Barbara. We have the luxury of living in a free world....not having to know the awful realities and threats our nation faces. Thank God for a man like President Bush who stood up agaist our enemies. We'll see what happens soon when we run...and hide behind eloquent rhetoric.

    November 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. yen

    If your values make you invade another country, they are not values. They are called wicked and evil acts. What is happening to Iraq is unbelievable. And for that many thousands and thousands American lives are sacrified.What about all those thousands and thousands of Americans who are disfigured and disabled for life. There is absolutely no value in that. You are very wrong mr. Bush. Please go and repent and ask for forgiveness from your maker.

    November 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Fred

    Worst President in the World EVER!

    November 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. FAYE, NV

    Bush better sing the song "All I Want For Christmas", his legacy is fail and rating is less that 30%. Therefore Bush start singing now.

    November 28, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. seth

    Crimes against humanity?????...please....its ignorant people like you that have no clue what you are talking about and base your opinion soley off a bias media outlet. I hope to god no other president has to deal with a terroist attack on our own soil. Correct me if Im wrong but no President ever had to deal with that. I may not agree with President Bush but I respect the Office he holds, and I know he did a better job than I could have ever done.

    November 28, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Ron

    Actually, George W. Bush will be remembered as the President who directly caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, most innocent of any crime. He will be remembered as the most politically corrupt president in modern times. The most ignorant president ever. Oh hell, this could go on for the next two days. I will just stay that he has been the biggest humiliation to the USA anyone could imagine. I am an educator and I will spend the rest of my career exposing this moron.

    November 28, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. Dave in Albuquerque

    Like all ideologues, he used ideology to cover his lack of knowledge and his inability to think critically about his own motives. There's a difference between having values and using those values as an excuse for not respecting the values of others. Dubya is as clueless about the difference as he was eight years ago.

    November 28, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. JFK

    I wish we could all agree with Mr Bush but frankly he is wrong. He sold his soul and did nothing positive in the White House. He already sealed his fate in the history books for future generations.

    November 28, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Jana

    Bye Bye!!!

    November 28, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. maria

    His ??conscience?? must be getting to him. I bet he nor his cabinet will be able to travel world wide like other presidents after finishing their terms.
    Only thing left to say is good riddence.

    November 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. proud army and navy mom

    That's funny. Bush never had a soul, so he had nothing to lose.

    But what about all the innocent souls of our dead troops and innocent Iraqis that he and his administration was responsible for. what about the tortured souls?

    I wonder if he feels any quilt at all for them. Probably not, he was just a spoonfed puppet for Cheney and Rumsfeld. Pitiful!

    November 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Erin

    What about equality for all and not just for those who fit neatly into the WASP category?

    November 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Not a hater

    To the best president in history...

    November 28, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. James Martin

    Yep, he kept the same corrupt, uncaring, hateful, selfish, greedy, murderous, deceptive and idiotic values had going in. He just drug the whole country down with him and a good part of the world.

    November 28, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Ken

    And by the way, Bush's real legacy will be that he was a political canary-in-a-coal-mine. He unwittingly provided a dire warning for today's America: there are enough mentally dysfunctional voters in America to have voted this serial failure into the highest office of our land. This is, and will remain, an incredible blot on the American people and our ability to govern ourselves.

    Americans need to be vigilant: certainly vigilant against outside threats, but also vigilant towards our own home-grown threats that fester in the rightwing underbelly of America.

    November 28, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. put dubya/cheney behind bars

    lol @ dubya
    clueless and lame as ever
    SEE YA !!!!

    November 28, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. craig

    Never in my short lifetime have I seen a world leader destroy, ignore and torture everything he touches. George W. Bush is a despicable human being who embraces his ignorance the same way he use to hug the bottle. May he disappear from public view forever.

    November 28, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. maria

    Some one must have signicantly edited his comments, this man (Bush) can't complete a sentence correctly.

    November 28, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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