December 1st, 2008
02:51 PM ET
6 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. proud army navy mom

    george w thinks that" some people voted for Obama because of him"!!
    NO crap.

    it was that and the fact the Obama is a true leader, highly intelligent, everything bush is not.

    December 1, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. Jason From New York

    The truth of the matter is, you messed up. Like all the other neocons, you jumped the gun and now that you regret it, have begun blaming anyone or anything instead of yourself. Just more sad, political backbiting with no clear sense of right and wrong.

    Im saddened that you are here and will be glad come jan 20th when your reign of stupidity and ineptitude ends! P.S. I voted against you both times. Let those who voted you in twice regret their decisions now!!

    December 1, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Big Ed

    Some voters backed Obama because of Bush. Ya think? Is it me, or does President Bush always seem to find a way to deflect blame, I mean isn't he "The Decider"?

    December 1, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Jkay - KCMO

    Sorry an ex republican I voted for Barack Obama because of Barack Obama.

    December 1, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. s

    "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans," Bush said. Not Republicans but the havoc they created by condoning torture, killing habeas corpus, an unwarranted war resulting in thousands and thousands of deaths, Katrina ineptitude, letting robber barons plunder the financial system, and a my-way-or-the-highway approach that pitted American against American causing division instead of unity. In a word:

    December 1, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Milhouse van Houten

    Too little,too late.This all sounds like the proverbial closing the barn door after all the horses have gotten out.Or in this case,closing the cell door after all the cons have escaped.

    December 1, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. proud army navy mom

    oh two other reasons: Mccain is senile and Palin is plain dumb didn't heip the repugs either

    December 1, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. David, Silver Spring, MD

    So Bush thinks most of us see the role of president as that of "explaining policy." What a way to insulate himself from taking responsibility for the mess we're in.

    Interviewer: Pres. Bush, do you feel bad that the country collapsed during your presidency?

    Bush: No, cuz it wasn't my fault. In other words, all I was doing was goin' in folks's livin' rooms, 'splainin' policy.

    December 1, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Jay

    Wow for once Bush actually accuratley got something right!

    December 1, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. Nick

    I'm sure he's correct.

    December 1, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. KJL

    I'm an Independant. I was nervous about McCain because of his age, but his choice of Palin pushed me over the edge. I would have been much happier voting for Obama if he had a few more years in the Senate under his belt, but I am confident in his abilities, admire his intelligence, and feel relieved at his cabinet choices.

    December 1, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. mb

    That comment is a little tacky, don't you think President Bush?
    No matter who was running for president, anybody would have been better than you except mccain.

    December 1, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Todd

    I'ts kinda sad the job was just too big for him. We will be paying for his blunders for a long time.

    December 1, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. karen raleigh

    Is he dreaming in technicolor–most people voted for Barack because he is an intelligent, thought-provoking, cool, handsome man with a value system and a beautiful family. He truly loves this country and will do everything in his power to bring it back to some semblance of humanity. YES WE CAN.

    December 1, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. R.J.S.B.E.

    I'd like to know why now, years after it happened, Bush is STILL trying to defend his actions on the invasion of Iraq. He's pushing the responsibility to the Intelligence community, of which he relied a good portion of his actions on, and to the time before he even was elected. Hasn't anyone ever heard of the phrase, "the buck stops here"? He has a responsibility to answer for his actions, not play them off as the influence of someone else.

    December 1, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Bush is a poopie

    as to the title...

    December 1, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Todd

    I'ts funny how most of the people afraid of Obama voted for this guy TWICE!!

    December 1, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. charlie in maine

    "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me." Thank you President Bush. There ya see, like my daddy would say "even a broken clock is right twice a day". That brings it to a total of 4 things you did to help the country. Now please leave before you do any more damage.

    December 1, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. California Gold

    I'm not sure Presiident Bush will be able to fully grasp the people's reasons until he is out of office: perhaps in the fullness of time. I credit a vacume of sorts with his Presidency. I'll reserve my opinions about his intellect, or lack thereof.

    December 1, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. beartrack

    This poor man is still living in a land forgotten. Of course he was the reason many people voted for anyone but a Republican. Of course he won't think differently about the iraq war because no WMDs were found. The oil was always the objective. They even blew that.

    December 1, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Boise Idaho

    Ya think?????????????????

    December 1, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. CA Happy Voter

    "Voters backed Obama because of me."

    gee, dubya, ya think! that is probably wisest thing he ever said during his entire administration. For the first time, he correctly gauged the will of the people.

    December 1, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. Bob from Pittsburgh

    “”Of course it was because of you Mr. Bush.””

    You have destroy this country's economy, standing in the world, tramped on civil liberties, instituted torture, lie and cheated, to say the least..

    Please disappear into the darkness and never come back..

    December 1, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Pepou

    You are right on this one. I voted for Obama because of your failed policies during 8 years. Because of the shame I feel as an American as I travel abroad, because of your support for torture, your disregard for civil liberties, your contempt of the constitution, and on and on and on.

    December 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. Soccer Nana

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

    You said it Mr. President; how honorable of you (as you leave office) to publicly admit this. LOL!!!

    December 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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