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. gep

    How pathetic that all he can do at this point is to state the painfully obvious.

    And how frustrating that he's going to walk off into the sunset, to his millions and his ranch, and never have to accept any responsibility for the destruction he's left behind. More than just frustrating. It's criminal.

    December 1, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. Bruce

    This country, especially the ones that were drinking the Kool Aid and voted for him, DESERVES OBAMA.
    Its almost show time where we get to see him walk the walk.

    December 1, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Lorna, NY

    Goodbye to the dumbest president in American history.

    December 1, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. R.O.B.

    And you're not just whistling dixie on that note Georgey Boy. I mean you messed up so bad in your eight years that some racist became colorblind, WOW!!! And I'm not even mad at you about that. Everything is everything.

    December 1, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. NW


    December 1, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Johnny the Boy

    Who's gonna play Obama on SNL for the next four years?

    December 1, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. ATL Man

    I think George Bush had good intentions and he genuinely a good guy. He would make a great CEO or any fortune 500 company but he just is not one who should lead our country. Barack is still a question mark and I hope for our sake he is "The One"

    December 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Watch out Al Qaeda!

    If this is how we treat our president...

    December 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. .

    It's too easy said on December 1st, 2008 12:50 pm ET
    "Bush bashing begins in 3…2…1…"

    LOL... Called it!

    December 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Larry, Hazleton, Pa

    It would be very hard for me to think of good things that have happened for our country during the Bush/Cheney years in office. I really do not see this as "bush bashing" it is more of a reality check than anything else. I do not feel that my government has been handled in a way that I am proud of. Bush/Cheney have given us such a bad reputation in the rest of the world and the problems here at home are so big that it seems hardly fair to not say that this was the worst Presidency in my lifetime- which is over 60 years – this would include from Truman thru Bush 43. I wish Bush many years of retirement but get started sooner rather than later – as for Cheney I could care less.

    December 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Rorschach

    @ wally December 1st, 2008 2:08 pm ET who said,

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

    Wally, are you eight years old?

    December 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. Mike Dallas

    Not that many voted for Obama because of the Shrub, after all a slim majority voted for him in 2004. Those same folks would have voted for McCain, but then he picked what's her name, and that energized both the left and center.

    We were all afraid she MIGHT get close to the Oval Office. Now she is reduced to a national joke and the Couric interview was the punchline!

    And no it is not hate, it is ridicule, it is quite un-Christian to hate someone so clueless about culture and her surroundings. Pity is the only emotion she is capable of generating from the left, that and joy that the repugs will run her again in 2012.


    December 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Ms. D

    Bush you are partly right for a change. We voted Obama because Mccain adopted your failed policies!!

    December 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. anyan.


    December 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Elizabeth

    Bush did one thing right that everyone seems to forget... We have not been attacked once on our soil since 9/11 – my how we take such things for granted...

    December 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. hugh ~ california

    Dear George W. Bush,
    "Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." —Plato

    December 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. fonzi

    Thanks Bush. I hope Republicans in congress will help Dems come 2012!

    December 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Jacie - San Leandro, Ca

    I really doesn't matter what Bush thinks right now, the damage was done by him and him's alittle to late to realize what a mess Bush made of this nation thanks to Bush where now in a ression.

    So cry me a river Bush......

    December 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Staunton, VA

    Wally: "Bush is the best president in my life-time [sic]"

    Wow. Happy eighth birthday ... I guess??

    December 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Bush Legacy-prison bound

    jr will be the first president behind bars..... we want our children to see..
    justice..and the "Sweet Taste of Democracy"...

    December 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. FL for Obama

    Wow...he got that one right!

    December 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. Steve in VA

    In four years, we will be saying the same things about Obama.... American voters are fickle...

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

    December 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Tanya, Chicago

    Probably the only good thing Bush did int he last 8 years...

    December 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Jack Devin

    Bush and his cronies are war criminals who should be put to death in the same manner as Saddam Hussein

    December 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Lewis Gilmore, OK

    Bush hit the nail on the head...

    1. The election was a repudiation of the republicans that we have in congress and in the senate, they had far too long to change things for the better, and did nothing but further thier own interests... and hit on gay men in airport bathrooms.

    2 Some people did vote against John McCain because of GW, he was very unpopular. BUT, It was Senator Obama's mantra of "change" that won the election for him.

    The most important point that is being missed here though, is that even as your candidate, Senator Obama, is showing great respect and humility, you bunch of anus's are bashing Bush with petty and disrepectful attacks. Most of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    December 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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