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. lsboa

    to cmmt from Pam...sounds like you voted for Bush on the second round

    December 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. California Girl

    Well duh!!!!! What was the first clue? i heard over and over again on TV from people who had never voted democratic before were doing it this time because the repubs screwed things up so badly.

    December 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Susan

    People tend to forget that Bush was President during the hardest time of our country.....9/11. You were a good President and wish you & your family best wishes.

    December 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. PAT California

    HE'S GOT THAT RIGHT!!!!! The only reason he got a second term was because he campaigned on terrorist fear and he needed more time to end the war! (Lest we forget a little hanky panky in Florida!) But he can't take all the credit! McCain's Palin and age sunk the ship! Not only our country but most countries can't wait for Obama to take the helm!

    December 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. barry

    Is this dim witt taking credit for Mr. Obama`s victory? It is so refreshing to see this moron go, every negitive term one can use in a sentence, will be what history will tell of this bafoon. I hope he never be mention in the spirit of that office once held by such great men long past.

    December 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Big Al C.

    I can only hope and pray that you and all your dishonest co-horts and your children get worse than what Guantanmo ever thought about offering.

    December 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. jeremyNLSO

    Bush was a great President in many ways. Unfortunately, the rabble require a scapegoat to fulfill their bloodlust–they need to blame SOMEbody.

    But isn't that just what politics (on BOTH sides of the isle) is all about? Just wait. There'll be a whole new round of Democratic misdeeds and the political blame game will continue right on schedule.

    The fickle mob (no wonder the founding fathers were afraid of them)... EVERYONE (at least in Congress and much of the U.S. public) was for the war when it started. But no matter what the next great issue is, when it turns bad, they'll only look once again for who they can hang out to dry–the proverbial fall-guy. And it'll stay that way until we the people decide to put men of integrity and character into our public offices without exceptions.

    December 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. ross berg- Buffalo, NY

    It's hard not to feel pity for this poor guy. Talk about a failed mission!!

    I voted for this guy twice (still find it hard to justify my second vote) and after watching Sarah Palin during the Couric interview decided I had no choice but to vote democratic this time.

    Sad to see this guy on TV now. Talk about being fried!!!

    Thank goodness it's nearly over!!

    December 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. g

    Bush was a fool in the past, is a fool at the present, and will be a fool until the end

    December 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. john

    Now that Bush has finally accepted the truth, all we need is Palin came to realize this also and just leave the realm of politics all together the Republican Party could "reboot" and start fresh; maybe they'll get our vot back with no Bush no Palin. She made me, a Veteran, someone who respected John McCain vote for Obama.

    To CJ,

    why don't you move to Alaska and go live in the Palin nation with Ted "the criminal" Stevens and the "first dude". Keep us safe from the Russians. It's because of people like you that America went off course with Bush. You are just like the horses at the park with blinders keeping them from seeing what was around them and just focusing on Bush and Cheney and their "we are the only way" mind games.

    December 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. peggyledbetter

    Bush know he should stay off those drugs! He is joking right?

    December 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Gary in Orygun

    "from DC"'s vitriol is typical of what I read from the kids on this blog. The comments about wackos and communists make no sense. I would challenge you to read what a "Constitutional Republic" is. (It is what we are). Maybe you won't be so quick to throw out words like Democracy.

    December 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Get over it

    To DC

    My God, you are filled with hatred.

    December 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Bobby from MS

    Well look who finally realized that! 4 short years of Barf and then back to the GOP control!

    December 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Jason

    You know something George?


    December 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Lori

    If you can't bring Bush up on war crimes, what about the horrendous handling of Hurricane Katrina and leaving how many New Orleaneans to die waiting for FEMA to come help them-and this was at HOME?!? What's his excuse on this subject? I was living in the middle of northern Missouri farm country and I was fully aware of when the levees broke!

    December 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. RickInPA's the first thing he's been right about in 8 years!

    December 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. California Girl

    Kevin, if Saddam HAD WMDs, what was he saving them for? Why not use them on us in the beginning? And where are they now and why isn't anyone using them? Kevin, I fear you are delusional.

    December 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. Liberal, and proud

    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Powell should all be forced to donate half their salaries into a fund for injured Iraq vets for the rest of their lives. No getting richer off of book deals and speaking engagements for this gang.

    December 1, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  20. Christian


    Everyone who voted for Bush for President should be fined $1,000.

    That's the least they can do.

    December 1, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Gotta Get outta Texas!

    Bush, your total lack of respsonibility for the horrendous circumstances the United States now finds itself in are so typical of your, "I'm the son of a powerful rich oil man. Who grew up aimlessly driving golf carts at my Daddy's West Texas country club, while I made dismal grades, smoked and boozed it up. I never got a job on my own or ran a business that Daddy didn't set me up in." The only thing you have succeeded in is the infamous title of: THE WORST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. Please, for the love of God, don't do anything or touch anyting else before you leave, as it will surely be the next disaster. Quietly just fade away to Texas, read your Bible everyday, clear brush and pretend God is talking to you.

    December 1, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. Joyce in Indiana

    I am a true moderate who voted for Barack Obama at least partly because I wanted my president to be smarter than I am, rather than the other way around.

    December 1, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. Ann

    An angry stupid man like W will say anything to try and save himself.
    History will speak for itself.

    And like History –Bush will be history. GONE.
    And not soon enough.

    December 1, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Kyle W.

    Bush did a great job for this country. Its the people who have no back bone that are the ones who will ruin everything. No one in this country will stand up and take a risk to do anything. Everyone wants a helping hand and for everything to be given to them. Can anyone explain to me how Bush drove up gas prices? Made banks give out bad loans? Told people to take the bad loans? The problem with this country today is not Bush, its the stupid people who live in it. Take some responsibility for once!!

    December 1, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. barry

    hey willy, maybe Mrs. Bush should have used some of that knowledge of hers and bestow it upon that DIM WITTED husband of hers, you would of think that for a smart woman as some says, would have notice that she had a moron for a husband, or did her vission got cloudy from all that money the bushes stold from the savings and loan.

    December 1, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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