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. Seems like an eternity

    Worst bloggers in history...

    December 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |

    Yeah, because you are a disgrace, and so is Palin! Obama is competent and leads by example. He doesn't send us to do what he not do himself *cough* War in Iraq *cough*

    December 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    It's a combination of things why America chose Obama!

    (Why do people think it is only one thing??)

    Let me count the reasons off the top o' my head:

    McCain past his prime.
    McCain's temperament.
    McCain's judgement. (Palin??)
    Sarah Palin and her wacko views.
    Karl Rove
    Dick Cheney
    Health Insurance
    America losing respect
    No WMD's
    No Bin Laden
    Taliban resurgence
    Valerie Plame CIA
    Gas prices
    Housing market
    Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity
    Christian right
    Kyoto treaty
    Rednecks with mullets
    Did I mention Sarah Palin????

    Yes I think I did. She bears mentioning twice.

    The main reason I voted Obama?

    Obama is the man! Tough, smart, cool as ice. American!

    December 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Leena

    We don't want him "explaining policy." We want him *making policy* and fixing your mess. Idiot.

    December 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Ted - Denver, CO

    Sure you helped. We couldn't stand another president exactly like you and the hockey puck mom as his sidekick. What a mistake that would have been.

    December 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Kemdy

    The execution of the job of the presidency doesn't rest on one man, he is surrounded by advisers and strategists who help with shaping policy. Bush's biggest problem was the lack of leadership, foresight and intellectual curiosity to even understand anything that was happening. As a human being I would presume to say that he has a hard time going to sleep at night with all that has happened on his watch. As a soon-to-be former president, history will make him the most inept, incompetent man to have ever held the position of the leader of the free world. He set the world back about 20yrs if not worse. I suggest he goes to Texas and lives out the rest of his days in obscurity because even in the speech making department, he just doesn't cut it.

    December 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Buck

    Bush provided America a well needed wake-up-call.

    Sometimes the "worst thing that can happen" isn't really the worst thing, it's the best education out there.

    December 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. got a secret

    The secret is..... both D and R parties are one and the same!!! Shhhh!! Don't tell anyone – let them believe they are different! It keeps them in power so the same one world government agenda can be advanced. Whatever you do, don't elect people to office that believe in a Constitutional government! They'll have everyone running around being free and prosperous! Kooks!!!! So let's keep the R and D bashing up – it's the only way we can keep the NWO agenda going.

    Shhhh – it's a secret.

    December 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Bye Bush or Bushies, packing is free just because ur leaving makes people happy every day. By the way we do want to thank you for helping our new president get elected if thats how u feel ,most crooks has that type of pull. Oh by the way take CR with you.

    December 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Bridg

    I beg to differ, you loser: Obama got votes INSPITE of you. He is an intelligent guy who was able to mobilize voters inspite of the hatred and distraction you and the GOP spewed at him, beginning with the "speech" you made before the Israeli Parliament wherein you described Obama as an "appeaser." You and the rest of your hateful, divisive goons can now crawl back under the rock from where you came!!

    December 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. JR

    I look forward to the day I read this idiot's obituary, till then I don't want to hear his name, much less his pathetic excuses.

    December 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. sophia nyc

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! You don't say. The world is in turmoil, the economy is in a downward spiral, govenrment has taken advantage of us.. I'd say it's because of you.

    December 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. former gop

    Yup. But, Bush, you only get half the credit for Obama's victory. It was you and your female twin Palin.

    December 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. Steve

    WIll someone please get this guy (President Bush) a newspaper? The Republicans got spanked in the election. It wasn't just Bush's fault, but he definitely contributed to it. I for one usually vote Republican, and because of Bush's incredibly incompetent presidency. If he doesn't realize he was a contributor to the collapse of the Republican Party, then he's a larger village idiot than I could ever imagine. McCain lost because, as much as he denied it, his alignment was with Bush. It's not complicated for anyone, apparently, except President Bush.

    And yes, "It's too easy". The Bush bashing is beginning. As well it should. He is the worst president in US history, including Nixon. His approval rating is the lowest of ANY US president EVER. He is laughed at around the world. His word isn't worth spit. His policies are non-existent. Does this not mean anything to you?

    December 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. KP

    Wow, there is quite a bit of hating here from a bunch of free thinking liberals...

    December 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Robert in CO

    Southern Methodist University in Dallas will host the George W Bush Presidential Library. I hear they're designing it with four great halls, one each for Lies, Failures, Stupidity, and Disasters.
    Actually I'd like to see Bush serve a third term, IN PRISON.

    December 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Janice Illinois

    No mistake here Mr. President, you got that right , You Sir, could help any democrat get elected to any office ,any where, any time! Going one step further, probably in any country.

    December 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Steph

    Anyone that voted for Obama because they disliked Bush were not following the candidates or their policies and says that they did not have a clue what the candidate actually stood for .-–something like the first time voter that votes just to vote......We need to be informed if we choose to vote-–This just shows how little Americans actually know about their government and candidates.

    December 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. frank, las vegas

    Please stop bashing President Bush. He is a good man! He has a good heart!

    December 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. Silvia, Maine

    So finally Bush is admitting that he is an idiot plus a big screwed up .

    December 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    If George Bush were a halfway decent president (not great, but not horrible), then Obama wouldn't stand a chance. It would have been Hillary vs. McCain or Romney.

    The reason Obama beat Hillary is because she initially voted for the war. If Bush and Rumsfeld did a good job on the war in the beginning, then she would have been proud of voting for the war.

    I guess Forrest Gump said it best:
    "WMD's is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get!!"

    December 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Linda

    That's the smartest thing bush has said in his 8 years of being president.

    December 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Uncle Fester

    Puhhleease... Have you forgotten that we attacked a country that had nothing to do with 9-11 and what has that cost us as taxpayers? Have you forgotten that the person responsible for 9-11 is still roaming around free? Have you forgotten that all of this has put us in debt that our children and their children will be paying off? Have you forgotten that people in New Orleans were drowning while an inept administration and an unqualified FEMA head did nothing? This country has suffered more at the hands of this current administration than Bin Laden could have ever hoped to accomplish. Open your eyes, we are not in Kansas any longer.

    December 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. MattH


    December 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Audrey

    Are we forgetting that Congress voted to go to Iraq? Including Hillary Clinton? And a large number of Democrats? So, let's continue to blame a whole barrage of errors on just a handful of people... because that's not divisive and blind-sighted at all. If you think Bush and Cheney should be tried for "war crimes" then build a case against them.... but you aren't allowed to use any historical content from the media. So, let's see, that would leave you with.... hhmmm, nothing to prove your case?

    December 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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