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. Mary Alice

    dear spudmctater....the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I think all the intentions Bush had were to enrich his friends and "show" his daddy. All we have to show for this is a hornet's nest in the Middle East, a ruined economy, a ruined reputation and more than 4,200 dead Americans. History will judge him and it's way to late to do any legacy repairs. Good riddance of bad rubbish.

    December 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. James

    Fox news affect, thats why the other day on here im reading how great of a president Bush was......some even say he won the war which is rediculous where have these people been, it took years of failure for them to reach a "democratic" solution to the problems they faced, meaning......people like me were right all along while we sat here watching Fox brainwash the nation. Amazing. Vietnam vets were silenced as we watched pretty blondes tell us how it is. HAHAHA and definetly had plenty to do with Obama being elected, your failures had to do with it, how scary it got knowing these people could continue their childish policies if a Ditz and a "war hero" made it into the house. Well here we are, stuck with a broken nation, patriotism has been redefined, and little by little our rights are going out the window. Yay. Way to go Bushlings.

    December 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Steven2005A

    President Bush was a choice by majority vote, he is our choice, and I'd rather blame the voters.

    December 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Lamarr

    Simply put George....YOU SUCKED!!!!! Thanks for the mess you left this country in.

    December 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Oliver

    The trial should begin on 1/21/09

    December 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Brad

    The fire and hate spewing from both sides in this thread can be directly attributed to the politics of this administration. The division within this country is truly the most damaging part of the Bush legacy.

    December 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. David

    I see this is just a Bush Bashing post... The man did his job made a Few mistakes Ok leave it at that!! But no one said anything about Clinton with his mistakes Escpecially when he lied TWICE Underoath about the Monica Lewinsky Scandal. Everyone that posted on this message board that truely hates Bush is a Liberal or they have the Mental Disorder known as Liberalism!! People who Voted for Obama believing in Change and a Better 4 years we will see. I truely think Obama and his Socialist ideas will not help our country at all and what comes out of his Mouth is nothing more than Empty Promises to the American People!!

    December 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Mike

    I cannot believe that someone is still claiming that there was WMD, please don't insult the people anymore. We've had years of greed starting with Ronald R. Then 1st George, Bill and sadly 2nd George,How much more can the working people in this country take?

    I never vote straight ticket. I live in Southern Illinois where it has been a Republican stonghold, better controlled than the Daley Machine in Chicago. I see people given jobs by their voting doesn't matter not smater enought to turn on computer. Good Riddances 2nd George, I will see what the new President does.

    December 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. a southern bell.







    December 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Nordon

    I know Pam has it right. Nothing gets accomplished with heavy partisan rhetoric going back and forth.

    We can objectively look back on the previous administration and say how bad it was, but if we're going to then light a fire under Republicans in general, they're just going to turn their noses up and not listen at all.

    December 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Steve R

    I was impressed with obama's presser today with his new cab. for the first time in 8 years i didn't feel like the leader (elect in this case) was trying to sell or spin me, and that awful bush ego-effect was missing. It seems like he's going to get to work and fix some things, if allowed, of course the neo cons say he'll remake us as commies, but thinking men know that's just the last gasps of condi and Dick "Get drunk, try to kill trapped varmints and instead blow my friends head up and then lie about it" Cheney's fear monger express leaving the station. have a bumpy fearful ride

    December 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Get over it

    You know, if Clinton hadn't gutted the CIA and military intellegency agencies and his own administration hadn't declared that Iraq had WMD's then the whole Iraqi war probably wouldn't have happened.

    The Iraqi war can be blamed in part at least on the years of neglect and downsizing of our intellegence agencies on Bill Clinton.

    Lack of VALID information is what led to the war in Iraq

    December 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Carlo, Raleigh NC

    I think it's great that Bush understands now how disastrously he miscalculated his foreign policies, but unfortunately that doesn't change what he did. In his own words, there are no do overs. This is the reason why when the subject of war is brought up it shouldn't be rushed as his administration did. It's clear that they had no intention of stopping, they removed all the road blocks by *any-means-necessary*. I think it's the acts like this by which the administration will be remembered.

    December 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Anthony

    Bush did a fine job as president and I will support the Obama administration as much as I have supported the Bush administration. I can only hope that Obama does as well as he did. I don't understand how all you people can point the finger at one man for the hardships that occurred over two 4 year terms. The president does not run the country on his own; he's not a dictator. It's a collaborated effort between the president, his administration, and congress, which is a democratic majority, so stop blaming Bush and the Republicans for all of the problems in the U.S.

    December 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. RepublicanForObama

    Mr President, you finally got something right: We voted for Barack because you took our country's economy and public relations and raped it. I am pretty sure it's totally unrelated and unconnected, it's probably a coincidence, but isn't it funny that before this oil man (Bush) took office, gasoline was in the dollar-something range per gallon. When he took office, it was between $2.80 – $4.80/gallon for eight years. Now that this oil man is leaving, gasoline is back to how it was in the Clinton years.

    It's just a guess. I am pretty sure this oil man has nothing to do with oil going for his benefit during his presidency and is now back to normal as he leaves office.

    You are the worst president in my lifetime, Mr Bush

    December 1, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. John Ballard, Raleigh NC

    Bush has always sucked. Thank God 4 Obama. To many republicans. Obama is the new Christ

    December 1, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |


    December 1, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. Valentina202

    I so agree with Chelsea, Bush should be held accountable, he and his merry men of crimes and misdemeaners!!! EVERYTHING is their fault, though the buck stops at his door. He will go DOWN in history as the most inept, lame, moronic person ever to darken the Whitehouse doors. We the American people have so much to celebrate today, WE SURIVIVED bush! In fact the whole world is celebrating with us. Now this moron is playing the 'PITY CARD' as did the other moron, mc shame! Both grasping at straws. They achieved a level far lower than NIXON. Celebrate America, the past 8 years of hel* is over! With President Obama you will see, and hear what TRUE intelligence looks and acts like!

    December 1, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Fla

    Lets see what the Obmanator will do when America gets bombed again and 4000 Americans are killed on our home soil........see how he handles his "bad" self

    December 1, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Haramzadah

    Republicans = Useless Idiots.

    December 1, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. George

    TO BRIAN/OF OMAHA-IT' S not only democrats who are haters here-you need to look at your words-so you voted for bush the monster twice how did he leave you what shape are you are your friends in at this time when your vote bush was made-so don't hate the player hate the game your president has done over and over again lied and lied big time-and yes you have the right to vote who u want just know you voted for the wrong person for 8yrs now that the country is in the worst shape it's ever been in all because of your president-yes all the blame goes with him=sorry no other way to describe it.for he has cost peoples their jobs and etc.but he will live rich and full after the mess he has made for this country-no I give him no credit for anything he just rides off in the sunset like he has conqured the world-nope he hasn't just left us americans helpless while he enjoy luxary and never have to worry about where his next meal is going to come from,sounds like you don't believe in change or are you just one of these haters who wants things to remain the same this is what you sound like yes and MR.OBAMA will make it because I believe in him and God because I say God didn't put him there to leave him- and if you are any kind of religous man what is your excuse for being so bitter in your mind-but that is typical just like a republica-but I ain't mad at you-for you see I am a republican to or I use to be until things got so bad with bush and he got caught in his lies-can't stand a lier-until I lost my job went over seas-bush didn't stop that so what again is your excuse? for remaining a "ELEPHANT".

    December 1, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Ed Word

    Adolph Hitler would have gotten votes because of Bush.

    Duh 101.

    December 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. theologian

    This just goes to prove again that George W. Bush is the dumbest president in our history who does not realize just how dumb he really is when he opens his mouth. Of course a significant number of people voted for Obama because of Bush's presidency, why point out the obvious unless Bush is confirming to the public indirectly that he is an idiot and incompitent. In Obama the American people heard and saw compitence in stature, speech, and through his campaign actions. Finally "we the people" of the United State voted for compitence over legacy and idioacy.

    December 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. val007

    Hey bush your the WORST OF THE WORST OF ALL IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. your even lower then hitler. if there is any justis in america, will serve you to be hange from the top of the white house. LOL

    December 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Holly

    Bush= Idiot, but Obama will be worse 😦 I didnt vote for either of em. Good thing we will have another chance in 4 years to get it right!

    December 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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