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. P. Jackson

    Can anyone name three great things that Bush accomplished in while in office? I Can't!

    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Jacque Salt Lake city

    Abusive personalities of course never take responsibility. So blame it on some one else? Get a clue the American Public is smarter than you ever thought!

    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Lillie

    BYE MR. PRESIDENT! Happy retirement......

    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Wardog

    Obama says he's going to take the country in a new direction? Where was he during the last 2 years when he and other demorcrats vowed to bring the country in a new direction. Oh that's right they did right down the toilet. People will realize what a mistake Obama is.

    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. republicN


    December 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. Dublin Joe

    He, along with Cheney, Rumsfeld etc, deserve to be in prison after they leave office for war crimes. Instead, they collect the millions in their 'blind' trusts and live large until they die.

    Justice must be served in this case. Indict the Bush Administration on Jan 21!

    December 1, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Turd Blossom

    When you think about it, Bush actually denied McCain the White House twice: head to head in 2000, and from the sidelines in 2008. The latter will stand as Bush's only accomplishment as President.

    December 1, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Nathan

    Sounds like more denial and blaming others. I would respect Bush more if he would just call a press conferance and say "I have made mistakes that I thought were the right calls" That at least I could respect but he is too proud and still continues to be a weasel.

    December 1, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Mari

    @ G-Baby: Laura Bush has a DEGREE! She is a Librarian! Please DO NOT bash Laura Bush, she has been a gracious First Lady, its not her fault that her husband is a moron!

    December 1, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. SJ

    My comment on the Bush administration can be stated in just three words....WORST.PRESIDENT.EVER.

    December 1, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. WhyDidYouGuysVoteForBush?

    Why did you guys vote for Bush??And now all of a sudden most of you guys in this forum point fingers. You guys kick yourselves in the arse with Bush. You guys put him in power.

    December 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. That Other Jerry

    History will judge the success or failure of the Bush presidency, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush has shown grace, statesmanship, and thoughtfulness toward his successor in the days since the election. Unfortunately these are concepts that obviously need to be explained in one-syllable words to most of the commenters here. Hopefully if they ever have the chance to meet a person of true integrity there will be someone nearby to point it out, since they can't recognize it when they see it.

    December 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. D. Jacobsen

    Wow, it only took Bush 8 years to actually say something intelligent.

    December 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. H O Crawford

    Yes, I believe that part of the reason for OBAMA's success is Bush. Bush is such a terrible Model for our United States. Just look how our esteem has dropped. Ther isn't one country in the world that does not loath this man. He is directly responsible for an unjust war, diretly responsible for the financial crisis in the US and God knows what else. I must give equal credit to his co-hort, Cheyne, there you have a real man of evil.

    December 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Barbara

    I voted for Obama because it would be nice to have a President with a brain after the last 8 years

    December 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. Angel

    totally agree.....McCain would have had a chance if you did a better job but everything happens for a reason..this was destined to be and so i thank you for making it possible for Obama to become president.......

    December 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. liberalshateAmerica

    BO had the media not only villifying Bush (or any republican) at every opportunity, but also praising his every move and covering his and joe the biden mistakes/gaffes . I always get a kick out of reading the posts on here that truly demonstrates the obama-lemming mentality of his followers. The will follow this limosuine-liberal, anti- American, anti-capitalist right off of a cliff.

    December 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Tim

    Obama is not a king. Wow, the reaction each and every one of these political stories on CNN right now receives is 95% hoppin' mad democrat rants. If I'm not mistaken, your party now has control of every branch of government (who knows, maybe even the judges in a few years). Why are you STILL so stinkin' mad Bush beat Gore? Give it 4 years...nobody's perfect – not Obama, not Bush, not Clinton... not Carter (look him up since Obama is very similar in political leanings). How much "change" do you expect from yet another Ivy League cronie anyway? If you want change, switch out everybody in Congress who voted for this ridiculous bailout (Dems and Reps alike), and vote in their competition when their seat is up for vote.

    Oh yeah, this is also still the best country to live in on the planet!

    December 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. Mike T. Vaughn

    Yes Obama won because of You and Your Party!!!!!! A Snail could have won because of you and your Party!!!!!!! What an IDIOT!!!!!!!!!! I hope you burn In Hell for the pain your caused!!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. FreeNLovIt

    Leave W alone. He's a good man, but the people that worked for him, werent good enough.

    December 1, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. TjayeInLA

    G-baby With all due respect, Laura Bush attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education.

    I am not a fan of the Bush Klan, but I don't think it's fair to call someone "just" a homemaker. It's a choice and a pretty important job, at that.

    December 1, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Kevin

    Bush stuck to his values and convictions. He didn't bend at all throughout his presidency and he showed deep resolve during 9/11. For anyone who hates on him, be appreciative that we have not had another terrorist attack at home since 2001.

    December 1, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Deanne,KS

    All of you vile hatefilled libs have done nothing but bash this man since he was elected, and YES he was ELECTED TWICE. THat is your biggest problem, 8 years later you still won't admit that. You have forgotten 9-11 and what it cost us as a nation and as taxpayers. You have forgotten what the hurricanes and other natural disastors cost us as taxpayers. All you can say is everthing is President Bush's fault. You expect everyone to bow down in awe over obama, when he has accomplished NOTHING expect raise $668 million that bought the white house. President Bush has kept this nation safe since 9-11 and I am more than grateful for that. The next 4 years will be scary times waiting for what is to come.

    December 1, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. steve

    Gee let's bash the republicans for all that has happened. There were an awful lot of democrats voting for MR.BUSH's policies and, by the way, the war on IRAQ. Oh I forgot they don't remember that. It looks like you democrat's need to go back to school. your spelling is terrible!

    December 1, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Robert NYC


    December 1, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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