December 1st, 2008
02:51 PM ET
9 years ago

Bush says some voters backed Obama ‘because of me’


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

(CNN) - President Bush told an interviewer that his presidency may have helped Barack Obama win the White House.

"I think it was a repudiation of Republicans," he told Charlie Gibson of ABC News, according to a transcript released by the network Monday. "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me. I think most people voted for Barack Obama because they decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy."

Earlier: Bush reflects on legacy

As Obama — who made opposition to the war a centerpiece of his presidential run — continued to assemble his national security team, Bush would not say whether or not he would still have pushed for war with Iraq if he had known there were no weapon of mass destruction in that country.

"A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein," Bush said. "It wasn't just people in my administration. A lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington, D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence.

"I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess," he said, but would not say whether he would have pressed forward with the decision to invade Iraq if he had known otherwise: "That is a do-over that I can't do."

Bush also said that his administration had pressed for tougher regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but that push had been short-circuited by politics. He also said that many of the decisions that led to the economic crisis came from Wall Street before he arrived in the White House.

“I'm a little upset that we didn't get the reforms to Fannie and Freddie - on Fannie and Freddie, because I think it would have helped a lot,” he said. “And when people review the history of this administration, people will say that this administration tried hard to get a regulator. And there will be a lot of analysis of why that didn't happen. I suspect people will find a lot of it didn't happen for pure political reasons.”

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (1,029 Responses)
  1. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Bush's comment stating the obvious just goes to show how really dumb he is.

    December 1, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. S Callahan

    President Bush, I admit it..I voted for you twice..yes, I said it..twice.
    I believe in this country and still see it as resilant, hopeful, with newness. But I can't say I voted for Presidential elect Obama because of you...a long while back I was inspired by his vision for a better country and better world (remember 2004 speech)....I admired that he surrounded himself not only with intellectuals but with the common man, those truely living everyday reality, and that he has always remembered his roots which inhanced his dreams in I voted for Obama because he is gifted with insight and discernment and I saw that.

    December 1, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. J.L.

    Kinda stating the obvious isn't he... although I'm a bit surprised of his candor...

    Bush has basically destroyed the Republican brand for the next couple of elections, at least. Potentially this could be a realignment of the Republican party (Bible-thumping, war-mongering, Halliburton/KBR-supporting, doesn't get you anywhere). Although there is some stupidity on the part of the Bush supporters (the... what is it now... 23% or so of the people that still have a positive view of Bush) that Palin is the next big thing. I'm thinking it has to be the Bush supporters that are pushing for her... she's essentially just a female version of Bush. You betcha...

    December 1, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Ryan S in KC

    Voters backed Obama because he offers intelligent solutions, without the misguided arrogance that President Bush displayed. If he were a white man, he'd have received 70% of the vote.

    December 1, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. Riaz

    I am sure that the Mavericks (McCain/Palin) agree with him on this one!!! The biggest mistake McCain/Palin did was, they didnt bring Bush to campaign for them. They would have lost anyway but at least, Bush would have explained certain things to reduce the popular vote margin. Of course, we should give credit to Bush for no attacks since 9/11 here...

    December 1, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Steve

    How many advisers do you think it took for The Bush to come up with this;

    "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans,"

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. K

    Well talk about stating the obvious. America would have voted for big bird if he ran as a democrat, (no pun towards president obama) but in this brand new political era if you have the word "republican" behind your name, your as gone as the dinosauer, your name is mud, you are no longer relevant or wanted. Peace out! And to rockford on this commentary Obama will be a 2 term president and perform better than any president that came before him.

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Scott, Wichita

    I can't help but laugh at the people who say that Bush, Cheney, Rice, etc should be charged with crimes or brought before the Hague.

    If you can name one thing that they have done that has broken a law, I'll support you. I haven't found a single breakage yet. They've cleverly used loopholes put into the law by JFK, Roosevelt, Clinton, and Reagan. I'm pretty sure three of those guys are Democrats... (Clinton actually broke one, and he got impeached. Maybe that's the real reason why Pelosi won't do anything...)

    I'm sick of listening to people whine. It's not like the next four years are gonna be much better. Shut up and go home.

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Joel

    Hating on Bush wont help solve anything..people who hate and think this job is easy or that he was trying to mislead us are just as dumb as they think W doesnt matter who the President is, this world is heading nowhere fast and we need kindness, peace, love, joy, ect in this nation again..where does that come from...God, the one true nation under God..or by our own choice, are we anymore?? ..look at how this nation has responded to taking God out of state, school, everything...what is wrong with God..give Him a shot..he created everything, He knows how to run things better than we do

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Lucie

    Obama won because McCain chosed the Alaska pageant, and he said the fondamental of our economy are strong, and he was out of touch with the regular people, old, forgetful, racist, durty politician and so on... Obama was smarter and still is, ok? As a very conservative woman who is against gay and abortion, I supported Obama because McCain chosed Palin, and because Cyndi was too arrogant. You guys... next time just bring Sarah Palin again, then Carl Rove, and you'll see how we gonna win easily again. Supid! Of course Bush played a role, but not a big one, come on! Just go home get some sleep Bush, ok? Get some sleep. You need some.

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Simpliticus

    For once, W. is correct! Obama's election is a total repudiation of the republican party. And why not after W. ran this country into the ground! Who would vote for continued debasement of the country's financial interests, its moral ethics, and everything it stands for. What Bush doesn't understand is that HE will be the reason why this country has failed and nobody else. There are no more low-level people who it can be convinced allowed this country to fail. Let us see if W. can rewrite history showing that he didn't allow America to go the way Argentina went!

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. BobC

    DUH-bya! To quote Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon!"

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. Erin

    An increasingly irrelevant man is making one more pathetic plea for attention. We gave a drunken frat boy the keys and he wrecked the car. What a surprise. The Presidency has turned out the same way that every other job this man has been handed because of his family connections has.

    Go home, George. Someone else will clean up your mess, just as they always have.

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    It's funny, though. All you folks admit to voting for Obama because of Bush, as if it's a good thing.

    Just take note. You all voted against something, and for nothing.

    These next 4 years are going to make the last 8 seem like a walk in the park.

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. j carolan

    "Heck of a job Georgie"Too bad you fought stem cell medicine.. a few more brain cells might have helped ... albeit they would have been quite lonely.

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. GG

    I knew you were bad news 8 years ago. You are of no importance to me then as well as now Mr. Bush. I hope you can sleep with yourself for what you have done to this country during your tenure. God Bless.

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  17. Bush Was Never Legit

    Sending Americans into a war based on lies, is Treasonous.

    Every investigative committee to date, has found the intel leading up to the war, was KNOWN to be: faulty / wrong / manipulated / fabricated / and a cpmplete lie, and we are into Dec. of 2008.......and we're allowing this traitor, to debate whether going into Iraq had any merritt?

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Colorado Gal

    We all want those Bushian idiots held accountable, but what about the people who voted for them TWICE? Isn't it about time the people of this country stopped worrying about "diversion" issues, such as gay marriage, and stopped being fooled by machismo and waving the flag? Isn't it time for people to *educate* themselves about our Constitution and Bill of Rights? We have worshipped money, denigrated education, and allowed ourselves to be led by fear. Let's hope that's all changing now. We are a country that refuses to hold *ourselves* responsible for the drivel we fall for and the things we allow our politicians to get away with.

    December 1, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. bd

    What you don't see in this picture of Bush is the sign taped to his back: "KICK ME!"

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Dear revisionist historians,
    The war was voted on and approved by Congress. 29 Democratic senators, including Biden, Clinton, and Kerry voted for it. They all had access to the same intelligence Bush did. So if you want to hold war crimes trials, please include them as defendants.

    You can thank Barney Frank (Democrat) for Congress not regulating Fannie and Freddie Mac too.

    There's plenty of blame to go around, and the Dems deserve a healthy slice too.

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Steve

    Yeah, Ya think... by the way you should take a hint from Bin Laden and Saddam and go find a cave and shut the hell up.

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Steve

    Yes, President Bush you have destroyed the Republican Party but you do not need to gloat over it.
    Your legacy will be that you will go down in history as the most hated man in American history. I voted for you twice and I feel that I have done something evil in the process.

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. Grog in Ohio

    Poor interviewing. It's patently obvious why people voted for Obama. A FAR better array questions would have been asking Mr. Bush to justify his use of torture and then blatantly lying when denying it. Ask him about Gitmo. Ask him about abusing the Dept of Justice. Ask him about warrantless wiretaps. Ask him about war crimes. Ask him about planned preemptive pardons. Ask him about cronyism. Ask him about failing New Orleans. Ask him about Halliburton and Blackwater.

    Boo... to Charlie Gibson.

    50 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. Rich

    The hatred, I love the hatred by everyone. This post is so american and so left. HATE HATE HATE HATE!

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. bsmith171

    who cares what BUSH has to say.

    only problem OBAMA is the new BUSH.
    bush policy = obama policy.

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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