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

Bush says some voters backed Obama ‘because of me’

ALT TEXT

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. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    It was a repudiation of Republicans, alright, with good reason. Elmer Fudd could have been elected as a Democrat this year! After 8 years of favoritism for the rich, intolerant social conservatism, the constant use of fear, hateful campaigning and divisive wedge issues, we have had a bellyfuk. I hope Bush's style of Republicanism will forever vanish from our political landscape! And that means Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani too!

    December 1, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Joe in MN

    I'm a republican who voted for Obama...not just because of you, but because of all the horror who delved us into. We're now in the worst state in my lifetime because of you. Thanks for destroying our country, as you go home with your 'values.'

    December 1, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Wendy Stevens

    For once, bush got something right.

    December 1, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Sharon Kitchen

    Just when you think you have heard it all.......the non-pres....bush,tries to put himself back in the eye of the camera of thought. What a rough picture that makes. Keep on speaking bush......ga has not yet voted.
    Remember that run -off........ups......................................
    Do not give yourself any credit.................there is non due.
    Please leave...................o.k., so you can not yet.................but as soon as possible..........pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    Obama/Biden and now the staff that Obama wishes is forming.

    Again.....Good job Obama/Biden.

    December 1, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. P. Jackson

    ya think!

    December 1, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. TjayeInLA

    I think "some" is putting it mildly. To say "some may have" voted for Obama because of him is, without a doubt, the understatement of the year.

    December 1, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. s bilon

    Bush needs treatment with antipsychotics and people voted fro him need treatment with antidepressants

    December 1, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Texas Teacher

    G-baby.... :) Not to get in your face, but Mrs. Bush is a Certifiable, if not certified Texas Teacher... that means that she has at least four years of college and two years of teacher education. I may not care for her husband.... but I think she is a lot smarter than he is! *LOL*

    December 1, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. bsmith171

    i like that comment in an uneducated comment. ' i prefer princeton and harvard grads'.

    well uneducated and even though i despise bush.

    get this rumsfeld: princeton. cheney: yale PhD.
    bush yale and harvard grad.

    you see these politicians all come from the same schools.

    clinton, hillary, kerry, pataki all from YALE or JAIL!

    December 1, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. Rob Johnson

    Even Bush gets it right every now and then. I think this comment shows a rare amount of insight and reflection by the President.

    I'm no fan, but hey, give credit where credit is due.

    December 1, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Gary

    This is the first time that Bush has been correct in the last several years

    December 1, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. Jack Jodell

    It was a repudiation of Republicans, alright, with good reason. Elmer Fudd could have been elected as a Democrat this year! After 8 years of favoritism for the rich, intolerant social conservatism, the constant use of fear, hateful campaigning and divisive wedge issues, we have had a bellyful. I hope Bush's style of Republicanism will forever vanish from our political landscape! And that means Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani too!

    December 1, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Go Colts

    Obama was elected because he did a better sell job on the American people. His election was a cry for " change". A wish list for the liberal faction in America to push their agenda. Obama was bought and paid for so now we sit and wait to see who he is beholden to. To those who bought the " snake oil" be careful what you wish for. This regime , walking in lockstep with Pelosi and Reid will do what they can to destroy the backbone of this great land.

    December 1, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. LS

    What a bunch of nasty comments! Is this what "tolerance" is to you libs? Hypocrites! Hateful and vengeful hypocrites. g-baby, Who cares what Laura Bush's grades were? What is wrong with being a "homemaker" ? What were YOUR grades to justify yourself? What do YOU do that is so great and wonderful to judge her and other homemakers? Gosh. How sick all your comments are. How brave it must feel to spew this when nobody knows you. How elite you all sound like you are all rocket scientists? You all sound just as idiotic as you claim Bush is.

    December 1, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Lisa in Florida

    And...he is "sorry" for the loss of jobs and people's 401K plans being desimated. The people that voted for him twice are the people who are now "afraid" of Obama. I know some of these people and I tried to tell them in 1999 that Bush would ruin this country. That Iraq was all about oil, lining their own pockets and Bush 43 getting Sadam for his Daddy, Bush 41. I tried to tell them. I hope Obama and the Congress will do the right thing for the American people and IMPEACH this SOB and his cronies. Good Ridence Bush. And hope no one gives you one red dime for your library. You do not deserve one!

    December 1, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Tulsa Gal

    Attention Policitized Economy: 3rd in line to the Presidency is the Speaker of the House, not the Secretary of State.

    December 1, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Barney

    You people are the same ones who scream at the priciple of a school when a bully beats up your kid instead of teaching him how to fight.

    In the same principle you would rather stick your head in the ground instead of standing up to jerks, we have become a nation of whimps and wether you like Bush or not he stood up and put his foot down.

    You will NEVER satisfy everyone and I'm sure at this minute Bush is getting the blame for the entire planets woes. Did Bush just attack India? Is Bush pirating ships in Somalia? Is Bush responsible for all the financial woes of the world? Could some of this be mans common greed and contempt for human life?

    I voted for Obama but Bush is not the end all solution to who causes your problems and now he's getting blamed for the worlds problems because he stood up to a dictator and said NO YOU WILL COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF YOUR SURENDER! You lost the war buddy and that's part of the terms!

    BB

    December 1, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Atmchsr

    i was so disaapointed with the american voters back in 2000 when we selected this moron for president n more saddenig was when we relected this joker in 04 but again wartime presidency has nver lost a reelection as our political history confirms...guess what, now we r i believe back to takin our country back n making it the true world leader we alwayz been, not by force but, leadership by example....an IVY league graduate for presidency...hats off to the voters for gettin it right this time 'round after 8 yrs of bush's whack job ripiin the country apart!!!! Bravo!!!

    December 1, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. James

    If your are going to charge Bush with war crimes because of Iraq you would have to include many in Obama's Cabinet. Including his VP and Clinton who both voted yes and gave Bush permission to go to Iraq! What are the small minded going to hate now that the enemy is gone????? Oh that's right they will fabricate a new one. You have to blame someone for all that is wrong with your lives. Give me a break!

    December 1, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. cile/fairhiope, al

    I truely did not know that stupidity could reach such levels. Dumb, Dumber, and Dumbest.

    December 1, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. Bill

    Well, duh. What an egocentric idiot. "Because of me..." Not because of his policies, his lies, his absolute incompetance. I just pray that there will be a good 'ol USA left by Inauguration day.

    December 1, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. Bernard

    How many people have died, American soldiers, Iraqi and Afghani citizens, not to mention the victims of the Twin Tower attacks (remember that one, folks, one of the most egregious crimes of humanity still unsolved?), and this is his response:

    "I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess."

    Since I can't curse, I will only expound upon how idiotic, ignorant, myopic and veil-covered this 43rd President of ours was. People are dead because of his orders. Lots of them. And we get an "I guess"? Rage doesn't begin to describe how I feel to one of the most privileged, under-achieving morons of my parents's generation.

    Oh, and to the guy on top who said Mr. Bush's intentions were "pure", my only response is this: a drunk driver rarely intends to kill a pedestrian, but we still charge the jerk with a crime. Mr. Bush is responsible for his actions. Don't try to rationalize your vote.

    December 1, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. Brain in DC

    Need help packin'?

    December 1, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Marc M

    If anyone thinks the economy is where it is now because of Bush, you need to go back to school.

    The economy is where it is now because of left wing socialist programs and the left wing agenda to give mortgages for $700,000 to people making $50,000 per year.

    It's the libs/dems that fought against any sort of mortgage reform. Obama himself sat on the freddie mac committee and fought against reform.

    The republicans tried numerous times to get something done but the socialist dems/libs blocked it every time.

    If you want someone to blame for the economy, look to not only the party of the president you elected but Obama himself.

    December 1, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. bruce

    Worst president in history.

    December 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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