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. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Yes Mr. Bush, just like you got smoked by Gore and Kerry, but as Stalin once stated, "Victory goes to those who count the votes!"

    Too bad you weren't filled with this paste of honesty when it came to counting all the ballots in Floridain '00 or checking on the voting irregularity problems problems in Ohio in '04, eh?!

    Go back to your Harken stock-dump, acquired ranch where you raise sagebrush with your Stepford Librarian of a wife!!! The sooner the better for all of the planet!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Elizabeth - Texas - Former Republican

    I may of voted for him the second time, but not the third.

    December 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. You Elected Him Twice

    Just remember, for all of you who voted for Bush, once, some even twice - this is YOUR fault. Not Bush's. It was SO obvious from the get go that this clueless idiot was going to ruin our country. And he did just that. Can't really blame him - blame ALL OF YOU WHO VOTED FOR HIM. I hope your 401k's go bankrupt. You deserve it. In fact, anyone who voted for Bush should just move out of this country now - it's obvious you hate America and want to destroy it.

    December 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Moe

    OMG, that's about the smartest thing I've heard him say in the eight years he's been our "fearless leader"!

    December 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Sgt Trdy

    when shrub makes remarks such as those in this interview; one has to wonder if poppy and barbs wish freedom of choice had been the law of the land some time ago. look at what their spawn has created; a miasma of the highest order, for everyone.

    December 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. LM75

    What an arrogant ego. How does he stand himself.

    December 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. DX in TX

    It's rumored that Jeb Bush will make a run for the white house, but with the arrest of his youngest son and the 2004 Florida voting problems, not to mention the obvious connection to G.W. I doubt Jeb will through his hat in the ring. However, his son George P. Bush is one to keep your eye on. By the time he is old enough the Hispanic population will be the majority in the United States. With his Hispanic / White heritage he will win hands down, but not until 2028 or 2032.

    I would not be surprised if Karl Rove wasn't grooming G.P. Bush as we speak.
    A scary thought…
    DX in TX

    December 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. wyoming dem

    I can't believe his exit could be worse than the last 8 years. I am not looking forward to the days befor Jan.20....what could be next?

    December 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Erik from Real Pennsylvania


    December 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Patrick, Fairfield, CA

    Really, curious George? Well, he got votes because people were sick of your incompetence and the he received plenty of votes based on his message that he would be the one best to lead this country!

    December 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. U.S.A

    The unjust WAR in IRAQ has and will spawn many terrorist the world has yet to see, not only did baby Bush ruined everything that Democracy stands for but he ruined the reputation of America abroad. Thanks a Million num-nuts.

    Also its going to be hard for any President in future to wash away the stains the Bush Administration has left behind.

    If anything happens to Americans, Bush is to blame!

    December 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Doug, New Jersey

    Yes Mr. President you know that when we look back on your presidency in 10 years, you will be remembered as one who defended our freedom and prosperity to the point that you took unpopular positions and decisons at the time just in the sake of what was best for our nation and its people, the exact opposite of a liberal Democrat.

    Those libs who sway to public polls and are instilled with dishonesty, hatrid, and evil will be known as the ones who tried to take this nation down. I hope that they lose and that honorable Americans with morals, values, decency and honesty will keep this nation as the greatest ever on earth. I fear that our youth are true liberals, then we would have no nation to fight for that would be sacred. We will be a nation of evil, greaty, dishonest, selfish takers who are in complete contradiction in what our founding fathers wanted America and Americans to be. Just check out the ultra blue areas of the northeast like DC and New York, there are no words to describe such people. Red America remains the shinning becon of hope and kindness that makes true Americans proud.

    December 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. JC

    Of course Bush cost the Republicans the election. A combination of Bush having a popularity around 30% and the financial disaster was the difference. I am just amazed it was as close as it was. If Bush was even remotely liked 40-50% and the stock market didn't crash right before the election, things probably would have been much different.

    December 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Mr. Jonathan

    Bush's comment undermines the progress of this country. As well as the desire for americans to see themselves actually represented for a change. Bush's many failures as a president have made people more tuned in to their need for this. However Bush deserves no "credit" for getting Obama elected. None whatsoever.

    December 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. MC

    To DC: I'm just wondering if you've ever been to the mid-west? Obviously you have not or you would know what people are really like. I support Obama, and I know a lot of other people in the mid-west that do as well. Maybe you should step out of your bubble and take a country tour and go to all of the mid-west and find out what people are really like. You sound like more of a "wacko" then any of the people I've met around here.

    December 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. To CNN:

    I have filed a complaint against the FCC in regards to your biased reporting and moderating of this site. I am going to ask others to do the same. This is not news, this is entertainment to attract people to sit here and just throw hatred towards Republicans, Conservatives and Christians. We are all US Citizens too, we pay taxes, we support businesses just the same as Democrats. We all have suffered due to Congress inability to put country first and to be divided on party lines vs working together. People can dislike whomever they want, but your handling of this website promotes hatred . Just report the news. The way people word their comments, that are attacking individuals as well. Both parties (Republicans & Democrats) are guity of this. Politicans spread lies and attack and their followers believe whatever they say and use the internet to fabricate lies.

    December 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Mickie

    I don't need him to explain policy as long as I see it change – especially where it applies to human rights (i.e., torture, habeus corpus, etc.). At least if he did explain it, he could speak in complete sentences. I just wish we could withdraw your retirement money and not have to keep paying for an idiot.

    December 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. Sean K.

    "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans,"...


    1. rejecting or disowning or disclaiming as invalid; "Congressional repudiation of the treaty that the President had negotiated"
    2. refusal to acknowledge or pay a debt or honor a contract (especially by public authorities); "the repudiation of the debt by the city"
    3. the exposure of falseness or pretensions; "the debunking of religion has been too successful"


    December 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. phillip Space

    I'd stay away from major cities. Why? Well, it's this kind of torn state of stupor this country finds itself in that will inspire the Terrorists of the world to attack. I am neither proud or angry at Bush. I'd like to see any of us sit in that chair! I am certain however that this is a fallen world, full of complications and ridiculous hate and unhappiness. Don't become another religion of religion haters. I hope to God that all Obama lovers don't have a reason to hide in hypocritical fear after 4 years.. why? not because i have hopes in our demise but because we are all human. Cheer up people and become part of the miracle not just a band of haters... grow up and help rebuild.

    December 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Mark

    One thing strike me from reading these blogs:
    We already knew liberals were sore losers. Now it seems clear they are also sore winners.

    C'mon guys; lighten up! You're making republicans seem like the cool ones.

    December 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. mica

    Smartest thing he has said in the last 8 years.

    December 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Peter (CA)

    "...some people voted for Barack Obama because of me."
    In other news, the sun rose in the East, the tides came in and out, and the right wingers on these blogs continued to spew.

    Mr. Bush, some people may have voted for Obama because of you but most of us voted for him because of what you and the Republicans stand for. You have made the world an infinitely more dangerous place. Iraq might be bit more stable but Afghanistan has gone in the opposite direction and thanks to your policies, we now have terrorism at our southern border.

    Foam all you want right wingers, Obama (not McCain) is the candidate who can stabilize this country.
    Brian, Kevin, and Sweetie-rant all you want but it was the guys you supported who put us on the wrong path and they would have continued to do so.

    December 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Sean

    Yes, he's dumb. But there are dumber candidates out there (Sarah Palin probably doesn't know the word "repudiation").

    December 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. jd

    Wally: seek professional help immediately

    December 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. JustADude

    Wow !!! George Bush these kind of statements just make things worse – just keep a low profile and leave. Depending on how Obama´s presidency turns out, we might even miss the last 8 years.

    December 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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