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. mc

    At least he had the "cajones" to take on a Mideast despot nutjob. Any HINT of a nuclear weapon from that creep was enough for me. Clinton and the rest of the libs just let Al Queda grow... Al Queda hit India because they KNOW they can't hit us anymore. Hope Obama gets the message.

    December 1, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Who's Complaining

    I am a moderate that was never a fan of W. Nonetheless, the guy leaves office soon and frankly I'm tired of people bashing him. Let's move on folks. Was he a bad President? Yes! Will it take several years to dig out of the hole he helped make? Yes. Does it do any good to keep bashing him? No. Let's focus on fixing the mess as opposed to talking about who caused it.

    December 1, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Paul

    I feel that President Bush did a Great job as President. He had to make very hard decision that weren’t propeller with the left. The Democrats did everything to get back at Mr. Bush for wining the 2000 election and making them lose their government jobs and power, so they bash Bush over and over for the past 8 years. The Economy was doing fine until 2007 then the democrats took over congress. Then just before the election the Democrats tank the economy to get their power back.

    Look at who Obama is picking for his cabinet, the same people that was in government with President Carter and Clinton. The same people who lost their jobs when VP Gore lost. Is this change?

    I can't support someone who was elected through media, party manipulation and party corruption. Obama is not my president and I hope the GOP do to Obama / Clinton what they did to President Bush now the shoe is on the other foot.

    December 1, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Jimmy Bond

    GW will go down as the first mentally challenged president of the USA. How he could be elected twice is beyond me!

    December 1, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Greg

    I would like to thank Mr. Bush for keeping my family safe for the last seven years! Bush's mentor in Texas was a democrat... and had the events of 9/11 not occurred, we no doubt would have seen a different presidency. But like he said, that's a do-over we can't do. If the Clintons and Democrats weren't so self-serving, they too might have wished for a do-over letting bin Laden and Al-Qaeda run unchecked through the 90's... instead they blame everything on Bush, and therefore with the help of the liberal propaganda machine, we'll definitely see change in America. I just think it's unfortunate liberals are using Obama and his historic election as their instrument of change... it demeans the man and cheapens its significance.

    December 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. bobstradamus

    People really think they're getting something different with Barack Obama. That's the funny thing. Democrat or Republican is all the same thing heading towards the same end....The only difference is we have a semi intelligent person feeding the poison to us starting in January.

    December 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Was it a joke?

    I almost feel as if all of the last 8 years were jokes and Bush played us very well.

    But American people have seen enough and have opened their eyes.

    Yes you won't see improvement right of the back from Obama's presidency but that is also because how worst off everything is today. Again it's not a game or a joke. It's reality and it takes time to fix something that is this messed up!!!

    And YES Mr. Bush. Your absolute dumbness did help Obama win the elections because American people are tired of your little dramas and absolutely ridiculous policies!

    You were probably so rich before [even richer now] that you don't even care about getting a job.

    I am glad Obama is our new president. Much better then McCain and Palin. Certainly very educated, knowledgeable and a people person. He touched people's hearts!!! He has a true traditional American family with great values and not just spoiled kids!

    December 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Bruno F. Rivera

    It's surprising and interesting how George W. Bush is aware of what's going today's American politics.

    Throughout those terrible eight years of the Bush legacy, The way that the Republicans didn't do anything to handle the many negativity of George Bush's presidency and the Democractics not stopping him and always restricting his two terms in office.

    People will sooner or later bash Bush for saying the things he says recently just as People will bash Barack H. Obama, just because their own American life is a failure at itself.

    However, Bush will go back to his Texas Ranch rich and counting his money, but Barack Obama will most definitely the job in ruining this Country since the Carter Era.

    December 1, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. paul oregon

    BUSH MCCAIN,PALIN are going to be known as the 3 stooges that brought the rep. party down.

    December 1, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Lacey, NYC

    Come on people...granted President Bush hasn't been the best POTUS but he did do some good things too!

    After 9/11 there was complete Unity in the country. After that it was up to the President to make sure nothing like that ever happened again and almost 7 years didn't! He has kept this country safe during a time where terriorists abound. Look at India this past week. That could have easily been the US but it wasn't.

    Yes I agree President Bush could have done better with many many things but in some things he did learn a lesson (the hard way). After Katrina, he made sure that response and evacuation efforts were up to par during natural disasters.

    You people need to forgive and forget!

    December 1, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Rob

    I didn’t vote for President Bush in either of his election bids nor did I support the Iraq War but I am amazed at the venom of the comments posted here. I remember well the “support the war” hysteria in this country and I suspect that many of these characters kicking the President to the curb today wanted to have a beer with the “guy’s guy” in 2000 and were swept up in the war hysteria in 2003 but feel somehow they will be exonerated by this kind of behavior...shame on you. And to President – Elect Obama...Beware!!

    December 1, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. paul oregon

    BUSH MCCAIN,PALIN are going to be known as the 3 stooges that brought the rep. party down. maybe this will be the beginng of a
    1 party rule

    December 1, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Thomas, Baton Rouge, LA


    December 1, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Jackie in Dallas

    Duh, Dubbya! Well, yes, we voted for President Elect Obama because we despise you, your policies, your ineptness, your stupidity, and your arrogance. No wonder the country is in the mess it is!

    December 1, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. Thank you GW

    Since everyone on here seems to hate you GW, I just want you to know I appreciate you sticking to your guns, right or wrong. At least they can't call you a waffler.

    December 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. John E Lexington KY

    I have great hopes that from this point on the media and American society in general will do what it should have done with Nixon – ignore this and all other Bushes to oblivion. The man has nothing – and never had anything – to offer. His thoughts on anything are as useless as discarded chewing gum on sidewalks, and I'm certain if his mind was chemically analyzed it would be the same composition.

    December 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Terri Ann the Tex Ann ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    The scariest part about Bush leaving Washington is that he's now going to be coming back to my home state of Texas! Isn't there some way we could banish him to some remote tiny desert island somewhere?? If he had to figure out how to feed himself all by himself– I think he would starve to death in a weeks time. The man isn't very bright or resourceful.... in addition to being incredibly lazy.

    December 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Mage Cat 1

    Bush is only partially right. When Obama and McCain were first running for president, I wanted to be fair and check them both out. I listened to Obama and then tuned in McCain. Half way through McCain’s speech, my head started to hurt. How can an intelligent man say what he was saying and not feel dumb? When McCain chose Palin for VP, my ulcer acted up.

    So, he was right. However, McCain lost the election because he is still living in the past.

    Obama was the first politician who ran for office who was told us what he was going to do and how he was going to accomplish these ideas. McCain walked down the old road. He just told what he was going to do, but not how he was going to accomplish anything, which lead me to believe he is just a bag of wind.

    December 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Jackie in Dallas

    And, hey, Chelsea...

    Texas isn't a wilderness that Bush can get lost in...even Crawford isn't that far from places where Bush can still get into trouble - like Austin. We don't want him back, some other state can take Alaska! Now THERE's some wilderness there where he could get lost!

    December 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Captain Nemo

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

    G. W. Bush had exactly the intelligence he wanted, concocted to fit his agenda by Feith, Wolfowitz , Cheney, Rumsfeld, et alia at the Office of Special Plans.

    And now Bush wishes aloud that he had acted on the facts, not the twisted and hand-picked garbage his minions created?

    Not only has Bush no brains, he has no shame...

    December 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Thomas, Baton Rouge, LA

    "President Bush has been the best president in my life-time"

    You are seven years old?

    December 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Gaylon Barrow

    Do you think Bush???

    One thing about you Republicans. When you foul up you foul up good. If not for you we would have Hillary as President now. Sad, Sad sad world. Daddy should never have cleaned up your Air Guard Records. The American People need to listen every now and then. Us old Guard folk in Texas know all about you. We will never be guilty of putting someone like you in office again.

    December 1, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. J S Ragman

    Once again, this fool shows us his complete lack of introspection.

    December 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Black army vet

    no Bush you wacko, we voted for him to undo all of your mistakes, lies, and deceits you devil

    December 1, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Ross in MD

    Bush has made it very hard for a white man to be elected president again.

    December 1, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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