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. Catherine

    His presidency "may" have helped Obama? This man is in total denial. According to his own people, on the night of 9/11 he was talking about invading Iraq. He will never accept his own failures and will not take responsibility for leaving this country in ruins. To say that his presidency was a "failure" is far too kind.

    This election was a rebuke of the narrow, devisive tactics that have been used to keep this country in a state of fear and being bullied by the bully in chief. I simply cannot wait for him to leave on january 20! Why not leave ealy, it's not like he's doing anything.

    December 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Wood

    No kidding, Sherlock!

    December 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. slickingdom in N.J.

    George W. has finally started to get the fact that his presidency was
    dismal, to say the least. Not only was it his fault that Barack Obama
    became President, it was also the McCain/Palin ticket that was the
    problem and they couldn't get it done, just like George W. The fix that
    this country is in now is a real bad one. Its gonna take the best minds
    working together as well as the American people to get us out of this !

    December 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Wynter

    Mr. Bush, is that what you thought the President of the United States was supposed to do? "explain policy"?

    No, we want Obama as President to "make" policy. The "right" policy. You may have let your administration drive the policy all these years, but we want a President that actually takes the job of POTUS seriously and does what is truly right for the people, not his cronies and business contacts.

    Thank god this menace is leaving office!

    December 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. Tiffany in MS

    Bush, just a picture alone of John McCain standing next to you may had a lot to do with it too. And it's not about Obama being in our living rooms you idiot, it's about him replacing you in the white house. But yeah your right for once you had a lot to so with it more ways than u know!!!!

    December 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. AEK

    December 1, 2008

    Oh and also, the Bush people KNEW there were no WMD in Iraq. What did little tidbit of information cost Valarie Plame? What does it continue to cost our country?

    December 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. Greg, NY

    There's an understatement. If Bush's legacy is anything, one of the only positive things is going to be that he was the President that set up the nation to accept it's first black President.

    December 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Obama 08


    December 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. AL

    WOW!!! After 8 year by George I think you finally got it!!!!

    December 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. Andrew (Indianapolis, IN)

    Purely political reasons, not exactly a shock there.

    December 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Ted

    Well, duh!

    McCain was Bush part 2. Is there any doubt that some people wouldn't want a repeat of the disaster of the last 8 years?

    December 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. Political Junkie

    "People voted for Obama because of me..." No kidding idiot. That's what happens when you lie to the public to get them in to a war and then conduct eight years of policy based on hate and division. Good to see you go. Enjoy the ranch.

    December 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. New Day

    This guy just can not admit failure. Yes, there were a lot of world leaders who looked at the intelligence reports of Saddam having WMDs... ...but you were the only leader that thought it was worth going to war over. And, that wasn't enough. You bullied our allies into sending troops and have all but killed our credibility in the world.

    December 1, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Noah

    This interview Bush conducted was a very good and honest one. Unfortunately, the majority of Liberals are consumed by their hatred for this man and will not view it for what it is. These same knuckleheads who refused to support Bush for any of his 8 years are now lecturing the rest of us that we should completely support Obama on every decision he makes. Talk about the height of hypocrisy

    December 1, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. chuck

    This is a message to George Bush.Barack won the American people's vote because he is Highly Educated,Smart,Handsome,is a family man,SPEAKS PERFECT ENGLISH, VOTED AGAINST THE IRAQ WAR and above all HAS A PLAN TO IMPROVE AMERICA AT HOME AND ABROAD. John McCain was not CREDITABLE and was ready to go on PENSION.

    December 1, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. rob

    Here comes all the hate filled comments from from the tolerant Liberals.

    December 1, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. Charlene

    Oh realllllly?

    December 1, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. Ken


    That's the first smart thing he has said in a LONG time.

    December 1, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Marthaj

    It's about time that President Bush got some positive press. I think that people will find out that he did keep us safe and that he did try to address the economy meltdown before it happened but the democrats refused to review their policies that led to the ultimate crash. I hope the press learned their lesson and will now report all the news and try hard to leave their bias out. My thanks to President Bush. I didn't agree with him all the time but he kept us safe and in the face of extreme opposition he held his ground.

    December 1, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Jim

    I voted for Obama because he was the right person for the job. I didn't vote for a single Republican because of Elizabeth Dole's reprehensible ads against her opponent. Although Bush's presidency sure did help.

    December 1, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. Dorian in NC

    A loss for words...

    Bush cared only about HIS agenda (plus the Republican Party), and not the best interest of America.....And America got exactly what it asked for by electing this guy to 2 terms!!!

    December 1, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Renae, Houston, TX

    That crap is almost laughable. I see that Bush is still very full of himself. So full in fact that he could not even help his party win in major races.

    December 1, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. George

    From Bush's "gut": blame someone else for your own incompetence.

    December 1, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Kiah G.

    Why are people still putting microphones in front of this man? Why?

    December 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Yes Pres. Bush you are absolutely right and those some people referenced were Republicans. But don't take all the credit for the reason Republicans voted for Obama because Sarah Palin did a lot to hurt the Republican party and the GOP still don't get it.

    December 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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