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. Tron

    "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans"... Repudiation, that's a big word for George W.

    December 1, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Jerry

    Come on G-Baby get it straight President Bush has a degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard University.

    Guess the above statement only proves money can buy anything.

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

    Hey, got an idea–let's put his presidential library there–at about 19 feet above sea level in New Orleans, and attach the library to the Levees–just in case New Orleans ever needs help again. We know they'll save a presidential library even if they don't care about the city!

    December 1, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. rchnpdx

    He may be right but he is so arrogant!

    December 1, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Leah from FL

    Another arrogant, elitist statement from Dub-ya. Bye, bye Flyboy. Cruise that F3 on over to TX and declare "Mission Accomplished" now.

    December 1, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. where's the honor

    Bush would not go down as a horrible president if he took the honorable road -bringing 'terrorists' to justice in a public court on US soil instead of hiding torture/trials in Guantanamo, listening to scientists on SCIENTIFIC issues instead of having scientific reports rewritten by bureaucrats intent on helping wall street make a buck, allowing increased fuel efficiency standards so the auto manufacturers would have had incentive to make high mileage cars, etc. etc.
    But the whole time his administration has been a big handout for big business, starting with war profiteers. History will indeed judge him and his puppeteer, Dick Cheney.

    December 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. bkrane/pgh

    Jeeeezus C . . . . . . . . he still don't git it!

    December 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Ermando R. Chavez

    Can we just say "That's the brightest thing Bush has said his whole time in office"! Finally he seems knowledgable about something.

    December 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. BrooklynGirl

    Wow, after 8 years I finally agree with Bush. Yes sir President Bush, YOU'RE the reason Republicans got spanked this year. And the Limbaugh/Hannity nuts on the right will continue alienating any and all non-whites which means Republicans will continue getting spanked well into the future.

    December 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. JS007

    Hey, Bush, the intelligence on WMD was what it was because you chose to ignore any points that disagreed with your maniacal desire to invade Iraq for oil and to one up your daddy. The only intelligence that was in question was your own. I thought Iraq had some chemical weapons, but not for one minute was that a threat to the US or Israel, who have nukes.

    As for legacy: giving the country away to your rich friends while also bankrupting it and causing deaths of tens of thousands. Mission Accomplished!

    December 1, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Stan Needler

    Now , that's funny! Sounds like Bush had a Bart Simpson moment!


    gangstergovernment dot com

    December 1, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Cleavette

    I am sure that President Bush is one of the people that voted for Obama. He just could not make himself vote for McCain/Palin.

    December 1, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. H-Town

    We will never forget Bush walking around with that silly, arrogant smirk on his face when first elected. Glad the idiot is finally outa there!

    December 1, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Tom

    He came to that conclusion??? Very smart George, yes I believe he got millions of votes because of you. Look what you and your corrupt crooks have done to the economy, the American people and the US. I am holding Congress also responsible for not removing you.

    December 1, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Carolyn

    You idiot democrats. This nation was in a recession when Bush became president!!! Our country has not had a terror attack since he became president. Bill Clinton did not have the backbone to do anything about 9/11. Let's see how you feel 4 years from now after your taxes have almost doubled. Sure Bush made mistakes, he is not perfect and neither is Obama. All the promises he made during his campaign where lies to get your votes. This nation was a Christian nation until you democrats polluted it. How do you like the idea of your taxes increased to give to those that are too sorry to work and doesn't pay taxes. It is marxist, look up the meaning of the word.

    December 1, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Michael

    President Bush is the best leader this country has ever had. Without him, we would all be dead. Al-Qaeda would have taken over America by force and we would all be in chains forced to speak Arabic and read the Koran. As far as the economy, the country is better off now than it ever was under Clinton. Why? Because the rich got richer off of money they didn't earn. That is what America is all about. You people who voted against McCain just signed this country over to Osama Bin Laden, and-

    ......sorry about that folks, Sean Hannity was on my computer, I just knocked him out.
    Bush sucks!

    December 1, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. James

    I guess a nation going to war and economic collapse isnt enough to get some of you angry. LOL go back to bed then.

    December 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. heaven'

    The Bush administration can be in denial of all that has happened the past 8 years and believe that they were correct with all that was/was not done but ultimately we all have to face our Maker and I just hope the He will be more merciful towards you and all your cohorts than you or they have been with the people of the world.

    December 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Dan B. San Diego, CA

    I like Barack Obama and hope he has a successful presidency. He is my (our) president and I think a good man. I say this and still voted for John McCain. For you liberals out there... you won, stop whining and do something positive for a change. Bush was wrong about a lot, however, he is not a war criminal. He is not an idiot. He probably is not a bad guy. If you like meglomaniac socialists, I implore all of you to move to Venezuela where you can worship a dictator (Chavez) of your styling. One benefit of having Barack elected, is that he should have some leverage to have Europe to stand up and help solve some of the world's problems instead whining all the time. The only problem I really have with Democrats is they always want to award failure and punish success.

    December 1, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. Kwesoe

    Well said, Mr. President. And now, will the real George W. Bush please stand and tell the American people: "I'm sorry that I've deceived you for the last eight years." That would be the honorable thing to do.

    December 1, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Jason

    Actually, most Americans can be blamed for the economy because of their greed . . . they were too busy buying on credit and running up debt instead of saving money. They have been preaching for years that people needed to save more but of course no one listened during the Clinton or Bush years.

    So, pat yourself on the back and not focus so much blame on one person such as Bush or Clinton . . . they did their part just like you did so shut up and grin and take what your excessive greed gives you in return.

    BTW . . . how can anyone say Bush will be the worst president we ever had since we have many more to come and Obama hasnt shown much promise himself (pretty words do not make for pretty actions).

    December 1, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Phil-Little Rock

    I'm just sorry he didn't do the honorable thing and resign. He's sorry, yet he chose to stay in office for his own personal ambitions instead of doing what was right for the good of the country.

    Now he's 'sorry'. Trust me, W. No American is sorrier than the day you were born.

    December 1, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. Red, Red WHINE!!

    Kevin December 1st, 2008 2:06 pm ET

    Bush stuck to his values and convictions. He didn't bend at all throughout his presidency and he showed deep resolve during 9/11. For anyone who hates on him, be appreciative that we have not had another terrorist attack at home since 2001.
    By your reasoning, we can be pissed as hell AT him for allowing 9/11. But some people think "well gee, it was pretty cool that we got to see our buildings attacked. Thanks Bush for letting us be attacked".

    Idiots! Bush was an absolute moron who allowed us to be attacked. The man should be tried for treason!

    December 1, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. From DC

    Couldn't agree more, Chelsea... And to think that Bill Clinton almost got impeached from the presidency for lying to the public about his private affairs...

    I think the DNC needs to grow a pair, and treat Republicans with the same "courtesy" that the Repubs have extended to the Democrats since the rise of the Neo-Cons / Radcons.

    December 1, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. Martin

    Bush and company knew there were no WMD's in Iraq. But if you say there are enough times people will start to think it's true.

    December 1, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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