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. LM75

    You betcha they did. He just never got. Off in his own little world, he never knew or cared much what people wanted. Only his close friends and rich matter.

    December 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Rory

    As Will Ferrell-as-Bush stated it on Saturday Night Live, "A vote for John McCain is a vote for George W. Bush." Thank you, Mr. President.

    December 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. True Conservative

    Wow, FromDC thank you for stereotyping republicans. We are all racist, narrow minded, white southeners. Huh thats funny, because I'm from Maine, am black and a republican. No thank you though, I mean I have to be a narrow minded person because you told me I am. Thank you so much for showing us how narrow minded you are. Great work, you just made me realize that you are a hypocrit. Good work, we are all so proud of you lefties for fighting for us. Where would we be without you guys. Just wait in a couple of years republicans will have their run again.

    December 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. Marie in California

    If you think Bush was bad (and he was), wait until you see what grief Obama will bring to this country across the next four years.

    Sad and bad times are coming.

    December 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Haywood

    Actually, Bush was leaving office if you voted for him or not. If you would bother to read their bios in the time you spend mouthing off in the comments, you will see that McCain and Obama have more in common than McCain and Bush. When you can name your own two state senators I will listen to you blame Bush for everything, but perhaps you should research how your Congressmen voted first.

    December 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz





    December 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Frank has the facts!


    You're right, many of us are angry. a trillion $ of our tax money has been used to decimate a country that had ZERO people on the 9/11 jets and never killed an american. And the Lancet Medical Journal in Britain says more than 1 million Iraqi civilians are dead during the war from disease, starvation, violence, and lack of medical care and clean war during the war. All in the name of the U.S. people. So, yes, we are angry. But, the good Christians who created Bush don't count those innocent Iraqi children and old folks cause, they weren't christians!

    Would be nice to have that wasted 1 Trillion $ back now to pay for the billionaire/millionaire bailout, wouldn't it?!?!?

    December 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Change

    Of course the people voted against Pres.BUsh. MOst people thought Bush was reponsible for the melt down. Thats what the media told them. The polls show it. It was amazing that McCain was able to get 56+ million votes in this environment, says a lot about Obama. McCain would have won this election if not for the melt down and not even the corrupt news media could have saved Obama.

    So far it looks like four more years of George BUsh; lots of spending, same foreign policy, lots of the same people.

    December 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. Nick - West Hills (L.A.), CA

    CJ: We in California would LOVE to start our own country!

    December 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Oh Please

    He never cared what the intelligence said. He cooked the intelligence and fired everybody who disagreed. This wasn't a mistake. It was a calculated act. He broke laws knowingly and with contempt. He felt he was above the law, sworn in by God. And the saddest thing is Congress went along with it...

    December 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Dave

    Our President has a keen grasp of the obvious.

    December 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Super D

    to all the Bush haters,

    Understand that your lackey, Obama, did get elected because of the hatred the left showed towards Bush. We didn't elect Obama because off all the change crap. He got elected because they were not going to let a Republican back in the White House even if he was Jesus.

    so don't be tooting your horns because Obama truly does not have a clue and that's why you see all these Clintonistas in his cabinet.

    Obama is a dork. Change....yeah right......fools

    December 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. justadad

    REALLY?...........nothing gets past this guy!!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Amazed

    Is anyone else feeling strangely proud of him for not only using a word such as "repudiation", but also managing to use it correctly in a sentence?

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

    As a proud Republican, DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I voted for Kerry because I want a change. Now, Obama is the change we definitely need! Let's work together for the best and bright future for our generation to come!

    December 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Shucks

    It wasn't just W who lost the election, it was more the fact that the right wing religious zealots had taken over the party and did nothing but preach hatred, racism, fear, and divisiveness. America had enough of that from W and decided it was not the direction that this country should be moving. In fact it was reviled by those Americans who could think for themselves and not be told how to think from a religious fool.

    December 1, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. pascal

    BUSH try his best .let pray for the next presidend to do good

    December 1, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Bear Thomas


    December 1, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Chuck

    The only thing I have against Bush is his incompetence. He was like a child who was being led by others as Cheney in regards to war with Iraq because frankly Bush didn't know what to do except to play up this macho personality he likes to exhibit. Cheney and others should be held accountable for their part in the Iraq fiasco because they knew better. If Bush is to also be held accountable then it needs to be for his incompetence. On the other hand there is room for some accoutability for tyhose he voted for him (especially twice) knowing he did not have what it takes to lead with any intelligence. So to a degree I blame these voters as well.

    December 1, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Justin Dunn

    I am glad that the neocons have lost power and with any luck, they will stay dead and buried and never rear their ugly, old, intolerant, gun-totting, racism again.

    December 1, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Anthony Smith

    Bush is a real brain surgeon! For once, he got something right! It is because of the worst presidency in American history that Obama was elected. Bye, bye, George!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    December 1, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. David Goldman







    December 1, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. jca821

    "W" has a remarkable grasp of the obvious.

    December 1, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  24. Dante

    Hey Bush, SHUT IT!!!

    December 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. linda

    Is this man in sane or what-he really is in denial & good riddience of him no one voted for Obama because of bush he really need a drink now he really needs to be drunk or was he when he made that rediculous statement, he is the worst person in the world,-and bush don't care about anything or anyone he has made the american people loose jobs-homes,their mines and etc,and he has the gauld to say people voted or backed obama because of him-no he is a lier-no one did that-maybe Bush needs to stay out of the bottle he's been drinking volka to much behind closed doors,Bush no one voted for you you go down in history as the worst president the U.S. has ever had,hope there is no one else out in this world like you-for you really didn't know what you were doing all the time,and lied,lied over and over again. glad to see you go & try to stay sober because you haven't in 8yrs,drinking on the job makes you so stupid things & say stupid things like he did with this statement-I bet he got cussed out to-well GET GONE OLD MAN-& NO THANKS FOR NOTHING YOU DID FOR THIS COUNTRY-only for your friends and family who are not suffering at all-but you will get yours back believe this-for you have left this country in a "HOT MESS"for someone else to try & clean up. BUSH your IQ is not worth the while for he is the dumbess president this country has ever had.

    December 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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