December 1st, 2008
02:51 PM ET
9 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. Kippie

    Since 1988, we've either had a Bush or a Clinton running this country. That "change" is what really stuck with me. Barack Obama is intelligent, diverse, receptive to other opinions/backgrounds, and gets his points across in an articulate manner. While I have no hatred for Pres. Bush, I will remember his presidency for ignoring the pleas of our allies, while dragging us into a war in which we were ill-prepared. Also, for employing Karl Rove tactics that have divided our country so that people feel that they either have to chose Left or Right! How do we get back to the center?

    The most memorable? Telling the unqualified FEMA official "Good Job, Brownie", while people suffered for days at the Superdome. What a terrible response at all levels.

    December 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Steve

    Please remember that the same country that elected President Bush (twice) elected President Obama...

    December 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. bd

    What we don't see in this picture is the sign pinned to Bush's back: "KICK ME!"

    December 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Adios.

    He is a criminal. A criminal that will walk away free because no one will challenge him for fear of their own wealth. What kind of justic is this? He murdered 4,000 soldiers. It was him. Witnessing my own blood in danger over there for nothing is catastrophic and seeing W walk away is even worse. It brings tears to my eyes that this crook will walk away. He is a failure...
    PS – send your daughters to Iraq. As soldiers, not as flimsy troop "supporters".

    December 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. bob- texas

    To Brian from Omaha...You do not seem to be the brightest bulb on the tree....

    December 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Clint

    Just some?

    December 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Pragmatist

    So, you voted for Obama because you were expecting a liberal (like yourself) to change things in Washington. Well, a lot of liberals are going to be very, very stunned when Obama starts looking like a conservative Democrat or a liberal Republican...

    December 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    Though I think Bush had a lot to do with Obama being elected, I can't discount Sarah Palin and her incredibly inept interview with Katie Couric. She could not even answer questions coherently. She is no where near ready to be president. And that doesn't even take into account her extreme views.

    December 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Randy

    George Bush's track record perfect, he has failed at every job he has been given by his Dad. Nepotism and privilege is a dangerous combination. Obama won because the majority of Americans finally wised up to what the corrupt Republicans were doing to the country, stealing its wealth wholesale.

    December 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Michelle, PA

    In a way, Bush is right. People voted for Obama because the mistakes Bush has made – from Iraq to Katrina to Gitmo – reminded a lot of people exactly what we shouldn't be looking for in a President. Then we examined the candidates and voted for Obama because he was everything Dubya wasn't in all the ways that matter. End of story.

    December 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. GARY

    Just dont forget you morons that Bush kept your --es safe from terroist attacks since 911. You jerks only see things when their bad not when they are good. Bush may have made mistakes ,but the Dems. were involved too. You cant blame all on one man. You morons think being President is easy.You have congress and morons like you haters to deal with. Lets see if your Obama can do better. Its not him that will be doing all the work any ways. He has all of Clintons staff, thats where he got smart.if you cant do the walk ,get the ones that can.

    December 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |

    I voted for McCain/Palin in light of the last 8 years of Bush. The problem is... whenever the economy goes sour, it's been the Republican party holding the bag. Even though, we got two stimulus checks under Bush, tax decreases, and some of the best years for creating wealth. I don't know anyone who complained until this year. It was very, very easy to jump on the Obama/Biden bandwagon, and blame Bush. I left the Republican party not only because of the wars, but due them not knowing how to win, and are out of touch with the country when the economy turns for the worse. I am now a registered Democratic Party member as I believe they know what is in the country's best interests. I do remember my father wanting to explain the difference between the parties when I was 18 and why I should be Democratic or vote for them, but 22 years later I am now realizing the difference. I still don't trust Obama, but believe in the Democratic values. Long story short, Bush has some of the blame, but not all of it. It's very easy to find a scapegoat to take the fall for what happened the last 8 years. One can only think how this country would've gone under Gore and Kerry. I think we'd be in the same mess.

    December 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. John McCain

    I could have told you that.

    December 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Anthony Ravenell

    He just figured that out all by himself huh? This man is a genius!

    December 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Mystgreen

    Absolutely true! Many feared that McCain would follow in Bush's footsteps and felt that direction was wrong. Change, ANY change had to be better.

    December 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. Elson T.

    Heh heh. Enjoy this folks, it's the closest he'll get to admitting he messed up.

    If anything, GWB's presidency helped improve Nixon's legacy by being even worse by comparison. Let's face it, though Nixon got a bad rap all these years, he got us OUT of Vietnam, he was open to dialogue with our enemies (USSR and China), created the Environmental Protection Agency, and even when he made his biggest mistake of his presidency – Watergate – he at least took responsibility for his actions by resigning for the good of the country.

    If only GWB could have been half the president Nixon was.

    December 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. LM75

    Bush is history. Yappeeeeee

    December 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. Mickey-Texas

    Don't flatter yourself George. I voted for OBAMA because of OBAMA! You had absolutly nothing to do with my decision.

    December 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. MrManhattan

    >>"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."

    Which raises the question: Did Bush vote for Obama. He clearly needs SOMEONE in his living room to explain policy. Eight years in the Oval Office clearly didn't do the trick!

    December 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Kevin PA

    I kinda feel a little sorry for dubya

    December 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. deb

    Poor Bush! He's so clueless its pitiful. I don't think he truly grasps all the damage he has done to this country. And to think that the neo-cons voted for him twice! What does that tell ya!!

    December 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Someone from Maine

    It's been a long 8 years...I think the whole country has aged from this cowboy. Good riddance to the worst President in US history along w/his cronies Cheney (Haliburton/Kellog/Brown $$$, Big leaker of the CIA and a lousy hunter), Rumsfield (an arrogant puppeteer and still working behind the scenes) and Libby (another leaker of the CIA program). Iraq....wanted more oil for your investments??? Well, you did not get it and the citizens are going to pay for your bad decisions for years to come. I feel bad for our grandchildren and great grandchildren.

    December 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Kevin

    "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans,"

    WOW, I am really surprised that he thinks.

    December 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    50 days, until our eight year migrane headache is over.

    December 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. century33

    "wants to be remembered for his values"......... what values?

    December 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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