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. Checko

    Yes, he will be remembered for being "faithful to his values" – those that have been painfully (for US) obvious- Lying, Arrogance, Obstruction of justice and of science, Ignoring inconvenient truth and history, Intolerance, wealth, Stubborness, environmental destruction, ...oh ,just about anything a decent human or real Christian would NOT consider a "value."
    "Sell his soul"? Who would want to buy it?

    November 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. seema

    Cared more about the individuals than process? I'd be willing to bet the people of New Orleans would beg to differ.

    November 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. We finally got who we wanted!!!

    Hows it feel George to go down as the WORST president in American history. It dosn't metter what you think or do anymore. Your devastating legacy was been etched into the our minds and our country for years to come. No one anytime soon will forget how much you f'ed this country up! It still baffles my mind about how naive you really are. Go rot!

    November 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. rhonda

    I would agree with Mr. Bush on one thing. He did not sell his soul because he never had one to begin with.

    November 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Ohmyapplepie

    Oh! Bushie Boy you did sell you soul to the Devil. Your even now trying to make some last minute mischief.. I don't think the history books are going to be kind to you!

    November 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. dp

    core values? killing people (Iraq), ignoring disasters (katrina), lying (Iraq), cheating (bird flu hoax), and trying to privatize social security, which would have gone down the toilet with our homes, retirement, and the economy, to name a few. He nearly achieved his goal of ruining america. And, he liberated Iraq in his own dreams. Face reality GWB, the damage you have done to the world is how you will be remembered. You deserve to go to jail for the rest of your life.

    November 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Ken in NC

    "LEAVING WITH THE SAME SET OF VALUES"? I guess he didn't learn anything in 8 years. You could say he is the results of 'NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND".

    November 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Virgo20012

    President Bush would like to be known as someone who liberated 50 million people. Is he serious? I will remember President Bush as someone who did far more harm than good.

    November 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Bob in NC

    You will be remembered for starting a war so you could be the "War President", and as the President that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, including over 4000 of our military. You will be remembered for not having any values, putting this country in debt our great grandchildren will be paying off. You violated the Geneva Convention by authorizing torture. You act like your Billy the kid.

    November 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Tracy

    Seriously? Really, though...seriously?

    If anyone falls for those lines they are as deluded as the Decider.

    November 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. richard shelton

    He was a great president I now feel sorry for what has evolved with the election of who will be the bigges mistake this country has ever made. Obama what a joke!

    November 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. JB

    Specifically, which values does Mr. Bush have in mind?

    November 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Rebecca

    Proud of going out the way he came in, having learned nothing, finding no flaws in his way of doing or being, having acquired no humility, and with no regrets about lives lost in his war or decimated by his ruinous handling of the economy. Good-bye George. Those of us who survived you are relieved we're done with you at last.

    November 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Angel

    Values? you mean Oil profit generating values? and i work for a pharamacy..what's up with this coverage gap? Patients can't even afford medications because of the coverage gap....so you really think that is a success? seriously?

    November 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. Tom Hayes, Winder, GA

    >In an interview with his younger sister, Doro Bush Koch......

    ZERO CREDIBILITY.... more of same cronyism he will be remembered for.... aside from his leading the world into a financial meltdown, ridiculus oil-price speculation, (that will haunt us after he is gone), a loss of the 'scientific zeal', worsening the planet's future, and some stupid reliance on prayer to solve everything..... Not to forget the vote theft in Florida, (elected by Daddy Bush's packed Supreme Court), and the 2004 dirty tricks, that put him in DC, and kept him there...... Palin could have done a better job.....

    November 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Milton

    Good riddance! He is the cause of this country's calamity!

    November 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Sue D

    If he didn't sell his soul it's either because he didn't have one to start with OR he had already sold it to the devil when he was in Yale w/ the Skull & Bones. He will be remembered as absolutely THE WORST "president" in the history of America. We will be remembered as the generation that didn't have the gumption to impeach and hang him. Shameful on all counts.

    November 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. richard shelton

    He was a great president I now feel sorry for what has evolved with the election of who will be the biggest mistake this country has ever made. Obama what a joke!

    November 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. aaron

    Yeah, I'm sure he will be remembered for that when we are all broke, homeless, and looking at our melamine poisoned babies. Later Bush.

    November 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Andy B

    Same set of values? He means crash and burn.

    November 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Hasan

    One of the worst presidents in history. Not even counting the so called "war on terror", just look at the freakin' economy. Maybe in 30 years he might have better ratings, lol

    November 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Beth from Virginia

    I guess you can't accuse him of lying. He says he's leaving with the same set of values that he came in with. Values? Well, at least he's finally leaving.

    November 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Patrick

    Bush represents all that is wrong with faith. Believing something is true without evidence and in his case in spite of all evidence is a recipe for disaster. Bring on someone who believes reason is a higher value than blind faith.

    November 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. FreeNLovIt

    Thank you India. Thank you Gandhi for showing INdia how to live and work toward prosperity and peace. We cant afford for India to become crazy like the rest of us.

    November 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Theabroma

    I agree with him: he did not sell his soul. You cannot sell what you do not have. And there were precious few, if any, in stock in that administration, should he have tried to purloin one to sell it.

    Can we now learn this bitter lesson and never elect such a sorry person again????

    November 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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