December 1st, 2008
02:51 PM ET
5 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. Dave

    History will show that Bush was right!

    December 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. Charles from Atlanta

    The past election was all about Obama – people either vote for him or vote against him. GOP has no amiable and intelligent candidate comparing with Obama.

    December 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Markus

    Bush is stupid. He will be remembered for his stupidity. He will go down in history as the dumbest president the United States of America has ever had. This low IQ, lame-brained idiot has cost the U.S. dearly for decades to come. I'm sure his parents regret their mistake all those years ago. Just wish the rest of us didn't have to pay for it.

    December 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Kathy from Phoenix

    What an idiot.

    December 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Missouri

    For all the whiz kids who can't spell, or who are unable to produce a more imaginative comment then DUH; Bush was largely a failure who
    blundered into a war and left us with a mounting national and foreign
    debt. Oh, by the way have we been attacked since 9/11/01? DUH

    December 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Julie Pool

    Bush haters need to remember that we have not had another terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11. Think what you may about George Bush – but he has kept us safe since that horrific incident 7 years ago. Elsewhere in the world, there have been 11,000 terrorist attacks! I am not a Bush supporter, but I cannot ignore that fact. Also – I am a citizen of IL and I will say that Obama has done nothing for this state in his tenure here. He ran on a record of – NOTHING! Yet, there is this cult-like, zombie-like following of him that I find fascinating, strange and frankly, scary. It smacks of Hitler-like fanaticism. People – wake up! This man has done nothing (yet) for our country – why are you worshipping him?

    December 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Independent_me

    "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans," ....

    Uh...you think???

    December 1, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. kasera

    THIS IS FOR CJ
    GET OVER IT......OBAMA WON AND HE IS THE NEXT PRESIDENT AND THE DEMS ARE IN CONTROL
    F.Y. I MOVE TO CANADA IF YOU WANT TO....idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Rennee Custeau Stevens

    I am Canadian and watched what your President and top ranking people did in their 8 years.

    This presidency without a doubt will be a black mark on you Americans in years to come.

    He has no legacy.

    It is very sad to say he was a fear monger and entered a country which he had no right to.

    We Candians thin he is " NUTS' and laughable but finally he can admit he put Obama in the White house.

    December 1, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Ray

    George W. for 8 years did not lead this country thru the Republican Party. He lead this country thru the Neo Con Party.

    December 1, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Dr. Sam

    He is right on this one. Many voted for Obama because of the extreme right wing of the Republican Party that have ben very destructive and divisive. That includes the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reiley as well. Talking about Rush, funny that he endorses Obama's pick for Secretary of State. But there again, who now cares for what Rush Limbaigh thinks or says. Who cares what Rush Limbaugh says or who he endorses. The man is cluelessly gibberish, narrowly-visioned and full of babbles and noise that don't make any sense at all. Even his jaws are bigger than his brain. The bigger your brain cf. other areas of your anatomy the smarter you might be. Those who specialize in this area of knowledge postulate that mankind would become more of people with increasingly bigger brain matter than today's homo sapiens. It is no place for Rush his daily rants notwithstanding. The same for combative right wing Republicans!

    December 1, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Laura too

    To G-Baby at 1:43 p.m.

    FYI, Laura Bush has a Bachelor's degree in Education and a Master's degree in Library Science. Guess that means you'll have to come up with another (ignorant) insult, huh?

    December 1, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Rennee Custeau Stevens

    I am Canadian and watched what your President and top ranking people did in their 8 years.

    This presidency without a doubt will be a black mark on you Americans in years to come.

    He has no legacy.

    It is very sad to say he was a fear monger and entered a country which he had no right to.

    We Candians think he is " NUTS' and laughable but finally he can admit he put Obama in the White house.

    December 1, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. Simmy

    God bless you Mr. Bush! As I have said, I pray that history will be kind to you! Have a blessed life!

    December 1, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Firth Davenport

    I disagree with most of you. Bush should not disappear into his dark cave in Crawford (where he can "start to refill his coffers"). Bush should be put on trial for crimes against humanity. There is no reason why I should have to suffer for years because of this knucklehead while he goes back to a life of drinking in Mardi Gras. At least do not give him any secret service but let him wear a shirt with a big bullseye on it.

    December 1, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. Change - Yeah Left

    What's wrong with being a homemaker? NOTHING!! Some of the greatest women in the world have stayed home and taken care of and supported their families!

    December 1, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. M

    Nixon left a more honorable legacy than this buffoon.

    December 1, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. CSD

    Alcoholism is a terrible disease. Stupidity is worse. Unfortunately, this country elected a president (twice) suffering from both afflictions.

    December 1, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Lucas

    Mr. Bush, I am sorry you have to leave office. You are a good man and most Americans are too dumb to appreciate what you did for this country to make it safe. Because of your decisions there hasn't been another terrorist attack on American soil. People need to look at that and then look at the countless terrorist attacks in other countries. You did a lot for the Pro-Life movement, and as a devout Roman Catholic, that is important to me. The people who voted for obama will regret it in the end. He will do nothing but make the economy worse. Socialism will rise and morals will go down. God Help us. We need you Mr. President.

    December 1, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Pete

    Duh, Bush derangement syndrome coupled with Obama elation syndrome put him in office.

    To those of you who voted for Obama, your derangement with all things Bush and your elation with all things Obama are illogical and signs of a mental disorder. But don't worry, Obama's medical plan will have you covered.

    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Ria

    President Bush is a great leader. Americans will not realize that until they lose their freedom forever.

    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Conservative James, Phoenix, AZ

    Hmm, it just leaps out of these pages.

    Take a look at the spelling and puncuation from those Americans still bashing our president-elect, who will take every opportunity they can to whine about their candidates losing the past election.

    Enough said; they barely graduated high school and live in trailers.

    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. scottyq

    Clearly the worst president ever. I wouldn't trust him to run a McDonalds. Need to try on war crimes asap.

    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Barbara

    Oh Bush!!!! During his first Presidential campaign he suggested that he fully intended to invade Iraq – many Americans and so many people form other countries heard that, (some of us even recorded it).
    Cheney had pushed Clinton to invade Iraq. And of course, Cheney decided to do business with Iraq even though our country had sanctions against Iraq – sanctions meant to give pressure so war could be avoided. Well, Mr Cheney helped those sanctions not work.

    "Those people listened to the same intelligence I did." Well, yeah – his people did – you can hear what you want to hear and tune out what you dont wan tto hear any time you choose to.

    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. dan in Tucson

    Well, its nice to hear that Bush finally realizes how much he hurt our country. History will not be kind to him.

    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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