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. PL

    Duhhhhhhhhh

    December 1, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Dan, TX

    I also think that Bush's intentions were good. But he did not have a strong vision after 9/11 and relied on people who's intentions were not so good. Bush did not have the leadership strength to stand up to those neocon views.

    December 1, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Kevin

    America will come around four years from now.... after we have been taxed to death, after we have had another terrorist attack, after Iran succeeds in making a bomb.......

    President Bush's decisions were definitely not popular. But taht does not make them wrong.

    Oh, and by the way..... there WERE Wmd's......... Saddam just very craftily succeeded in hiding/moving them. They still exist....somewhere.

    December 1, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. karen-phoenix

    As a 40 year long republican I voted against Bush, McCain and most of all Palin!!!! I voted for Obama's intellegence, vision and his ability to inspire America to feel good about itself again and get manufacturing jobs back in this country!!! AND against WAR!!!

    December 1, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. OBAMA SUPPORTER

    duh.

    December 1, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. bill

    of course we voted for obama because of you bush.YOU ARE THE WORST OF THE WORST.go back to crawford and take chaney rice dumsfeld palen. with you i just pray to god you will get help.THE WHOLE BUNCH OF YOU BELONG BEHIND BARSfor what you have done.to this country let alone the world.

    December 1, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. Gabriel

    Sweetie, if you are going to pray for "Devine Intervention" at least spell it right. Regardless of whether you support Obama and his efforts it will be a "long strange 4 years ahead" regardless. Just like one person did not create the mistakes of Iraq or our economic decline, neither can one person alleviate those things. It will require all our efforts from the lowest factory worker to the president himself to bring the US back to its position of honor, glory and respect.

    December 1, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Steve Antonius

    I agree with (1st) anonymous

    December 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. shakespear

    who cares Dumbo

    December 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. Franky

    Why is the President still talking? I mean, this is over, is done! Yeah, the GOP lost but not because of him but because of a lot of reasons. When you have approval ratings below as his, there's a problem. When your Presidency is about to be finished and all this reporing coming out that we are in a recession only makes it bad upon yourself. Saying it was because of him is one thing but blaming it on hm is a WHOLE different completely thing, is a whole new ballpark. Even "Caligula" would be surprised howfar we've went and that's crazy talk, LOL!

    December 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. Lou Who

    Ron G...a 22 percenter. I cannot believe people still live in a fairy tale world....egads man! EVOLVE already!

    December 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Chelsea

    Wow, he's made a truly insightful observation...
    You're the reason I voted for Obama...That's for sure... but it's not because of JUST the Republican party..as not all republicans are as inept as you. You are a shining example of what NOT to do. Please, President Bush, go back to your ranch...and leave us alone. You have done enough damage for one decade.

    December 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    This is one time when I agree with him, but it doesn't include that fact that John McCain lost so many votes due to his poor pick for a running mate.

    Sara Pinhead is not now, nor will ever be qualified for anything above where she is now. There are even questions about that qualification. It just proves that the "Peter Principle" is correct.

    December 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Marge

    This is one time bush is really being truthful. If he had been a half way decent president, Hillary might have beat the ONE out.

    December 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. spudmctater

    I think Bush had good intentions, just really bad advisors. I'm much more comfortable with Obama's team and how they will lead our country.

    December 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Bubba

    Sweetie, I keep telling you people Sen. Devine has no vote on these matters.

    December 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. He's Right

    "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans"

    Sad to say, but he's right about this. There was a large percentage of people who voted for Obama because they were mad at the Bush admin. for lying about the war. This is fact.

    "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me. " Also true.

    "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." Mostly true, because Bush did such a poor job of explaining everything

    December 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. J. Huck

    No George, people voted for Obama because you SUCK!

    December 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Euridicie

    CJ.....Court Jester

    No...we voted for Obama because he was clearly the best one for the JOB. The "JOB" is getting this country back on track. Whatever means necessary. Putting the best minds to work, crossing party lines if he has to. Not picking some no name person to get a rise out of the American public. (Guys and gals) Thanks, but, no thanks.

    After Bush has had America bent over for eight years, left bloody, battered and brusied, and litterally bankrupt; Bush's thanks for sticking to us is a bill for the rape kit.

    I'm glad we have the "Obamanator"

    December 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Jaime from California

    Pres. Bush doesn't need to be bashed. We know he's a retard! How many days left.....ugh! not soon enough!

    December 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Jay form Jersey

    Dude you did a horrible job!

    Of course people voted for the BAMA because of you!

    Just go back home and hope History is kind which is very sad to fall back on.

    December 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. Roberto

    Yes George, because of you and all the other folks on the right who think some are "more American" than others. Especially those who think they are "true Americans" because of their religious beliefs.

    Those who don't adhere to the seperation of church and state please leave America and go find a country with like minded folks. Maybe you can join the Taliban.

    December 1, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. John

    got to say partally true cause we hate you Bush, but also because we belive in Barack. Something we could never say about you Bush. Go to Texas and stay there, you are a lame duck, quack quack. 1-20-09 can't come too soon.

    December 1, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. bill

    WHAT AN IDIOT !!!!!! JUST PLAIN STUPID !!!!! YOU NOSE DIVED THIS COUNTRY INTO THE GROUND, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ANYONE WITH A BRAIN TO DO????? And to see it is official now – we are in a recession (again?), hmmmmm the last time was when your daddy was in office and the other good ole idiot Reagan. Oh those were good times too. It is good to see you also broke your daddy's unemployment record.

    December 1, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. DebM, Allentown, PA

    Duh...ya think??

    December 1, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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