December 1st, 2008
02:51 PM ET
10 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. uncle elsworthy

    Maybe this will even things out a bit. I voted for McCain/Palin because of two things, Barrack Obama and Sarah Palin. This election was the first time I voted for a Republican for national office, the first time I voted was for John F Kennedy. I would do it again too.

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Larry

    The people that voted for Obama want what OBAMA PROMISED free stuff.

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Joe The Plumber

    Farewell Mr GayBasher in Chief! May you enjoy your remaining years as you're haunted by the ghosts of your past.

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. James

    I think that is some what true. But either way thank you Mr. President for your service, I hope the rest of your life is full of joy.

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. J.Crobuzon

    Everyone voted for Obama because of you, loser. Mission accomplished yet?

    December 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. David


    If all of the accusations from Eyckie are true, seems odd that the Democratic controlled House and Senate over the past two years have not have stepped up and righted the ship, huh? Could it possibly be "no leadership" on the Democratic side as well? Should they be held accountable for not fixing all of these things?


    December 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Angela

    A bit egocentric don't you think....

    Of course some people voted for Obama because they disliked Bush policies. However, I think we all need to remember that McCain's choices clearly helped him lose, while Obama's choices clearly helped him win.

    December 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Chas in Iowa

    The thought that Bush did not know there weren't ant WMD is a joke.
    The whole thing was a convuluted story fully equipped with plausible deniability.
    Why do you think he worked so hard to get American politicians excluded from retibution through the world courts in the Hague?

    Bush and Cheney are going to go down in history as our version of a corrupt leader complete with the whole propoganda tripe he has been using for the last eight years.

    December 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Pat F

    proud army navy mom, more AGEIST and SEXIST garbage from so-called Democrats.

    The Democrat have won just a single battle, but lost their soul in the process.

    December 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. And proud of it

    I backed McCain because of McCain.

    December 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. MOMO

    The only reason I don't believe what Bush says about Obama's election is because Bush said it. If someone else had said it, it would be plausible for sure. But because Bush said it, I'm almost certain it is a lie.

    December 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |

    What a stupid notion, but Are we really surprised about anything that comes out of his mouth?

    December 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. RDW

    He's only half right. Eight years of Bush incompetence coupled with a failing economy (which is in large part due to Clinton era policy) created an atmosphere where the Democrats could have gotten Bozo the Clown elected. I hope they got the right person for the job, the next four years are going to be tough.

    December 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Jessica Grimes

    From :
    It's too easy December 1st, 2008 12:50 pm ET

    Bush bashing begins in 3…2…1…

    So true ... pathetic. Get educated people! Man, Obama is going to be a disaster ... I'm just going to sit back and watch the show. Popcorn anyone?

    December 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. Mari

    No, Mr. Bush, I did not vote for President-elect OBAMA because of you!

    I voted for OBAMA because of the vile politics of the Republicans. The hate, lies, fear and division the GOP spew, is enough to keep me from voting Republican ever again!

    I voted for OBAMA because I am SO sick and tired of the politics neo-fascist politics of the far-right!

    I VOTED AGAINST THE GOP BECAUSE OF: Limbaugh, Hannity, OReilly, Savage, Reagan and the rest of the far-right hate mongers!

    By the way, Mr. Bush, America REJECTED the vile hateful lies, fear and division of the Republicans! As long as the far-right continues to spew hate and division they will continue to LOSE!

    December 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    How long is bush derangement syndrome going to persist?

    December 1, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Alex

    Let's leave Laura out of it. I believe she has Master's Degree.

    December 1, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    Eyokie is correct. Bush and all his neocons that got us into this mess should be tried for crimes, war and the economy. It can't happen soon enough. The country can't be hurt anymore than King George and company have already done. So lets get started.

    December 1, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Scott

    two words Mr. President – you betcha!

    December 1, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Tiaunia

    December 1st, 2008 1:44 pm ET

    You're also the reason I voted for Kerry, you absolute idiot.


    December 1, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. rb

    yes moron, it was because of you; you will be considered the worst president in U.S. history. Thousands are unemployed because you were not in-touch with reality in economics, and thousands are dead in foreign lands because of you.

    December 1, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. PDX Gal

    "Bush bashing" is a term used by people that expect you to walk away from the deadly lies, incompetence, and greed of the past 8 years and be completely numb to it.

    Guess what. Anger toward the current administration is a perfectly reasonable and morally healthy response to the damage we've witnessed over the past eight years.

    If you think otherwise, you're lying to yourself.

    December 1, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. roger

    I think Bush Jr. is looking at his reflection in the mirror and having regrets about the legacy staring back at him.

    December 1, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. Bradswa

    Ya think Bush? Omg, this is the smartest thing the guy said in 8 years. I voted for Obama even if I was Republican, but I was scared of Mcain having a stroke and dying and Palin taking action of being another Bush. Bye Bye Bush, don't let the door hit you on the way out.. Oooh and one more thing, our economy is in recession thanks to you. Maybe you and your administration that I trusted, yet you lied to to all the American people, should be awarded a Gold Mantle of Stupidity and Ignorance. May God have mercy on your soul Bush!!

    December 1, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Thomas

    Wow. Mr. Bush, you really do think that you are the center of the universe. Those comments are condescending and dismissive. I voted for Barack Obama because he is a competent, accomplished and intelligent man. I did not vote for Barack Obama because of George Bush! What chutzpah!!!

    December 1, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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