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. E. Fernandez

    What is the point of all this banter?

    Bush had 8 years to prove himself as a leader and on the whole, he failed at his job. We had a chance to remove him from office four years ago after his administration defied the UN and the International community to start a War against Iraq under the flag of Homeland Security.....we knew there was no evidence of WMDs, British intelligence admitting that information was "sexed up" to further bolster support for the invasion (keep in mind this fellow subsequently committed "suicide" days after revealing this). After all this, we as a nation re-elected him to another term and surprise, things deteriorated further.

    Now here we are today, the Dow dropped another 500 points....people losing their jobs and homes left, right and center. We as a people elected a new face into Office and trust that he will surround himself with the people needed to turn this country around. I have confidence that he can get the job done and thats why I voted for him.....but if in 4 years I dont see progress, he will not get my vote again......lets get behind our president and our country because we are in for some tough times.....its time for us to make our voices heard.

    December 1, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. BajaRat

    Well DUH! This jerk ought to be rotting in prison for the rest of his life.

    December 1, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Roberta

    To CJ: Why should anyone go to California to start their own country. It would make much more sense to do it in Alaska where there is already a secesstionist organization. And, Obama is not the same as GW Bush. Obama has a firm grasp of the english language and has education in economics and constitutional law. He is already in motion to get things running as soon as he's in. He's proactive not reactive.

    I happen to like GW Bush as a person. He's a nice guy and kind of humorous. He, however, is not a good president. He lets people lead him around too much. Obama will accept advice from others but will still be the leader.

    By the way, I mostly voted for Obama because I no way wanted McCain in office. He ran his campaign horribly and made a lousy choice for VP. It actually had nothing to do with how I feel about GW.

    December 1, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Canadian

    You must admit President Bush has an uncanny ability to recognize the obvious. Say what you will about the President but he has given hope to a lot of Americans; if somebody like him can become president then anybody can. On the other side of the coin President Elect Barack Obama has also given Americans a lot of hope for the same reason but in a good way.

    December 1, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Florida Joe

    BUSH = Disaster

    Say good night GWB and let the door hit ya on the way out

    December 1, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. doug lowe

    oh sure, NOW the worst president ever finally becomes the master of the obvious!!

    December 1, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Bush-B-Gone

    Where has this fool been for the last 8 years? I use to think he was just an idiot, now I'm convinced he's just severely mentally ill. Please Bush go away and take your fellow war criminals with you. And for a bonus take McCain, Palin, and all your other republican fanatics with you.

    December 1, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Coultergeist

    Looks like the closer inauguration day, the more knowledge Bush gets.

    December 1, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. I am an American 2

    I do not think you are a failure Mr. president-about to leave. You actually succeeded in doing everything you intended to do. You and you crew tore this nation apart. I sit here and read all of the bashing from both sides and am apalled. We are so divided. To think that hanging an american flag in your home or office actually became of symbol of hate and racisim, a statement that said we hate anyone that is not a true white american. No you did not fail, you succeeded. You and you family and friends are alot more wealthier. You have sucked this country dry. On November 5th, I for first time in years hung the american flag up at my home. I am now proud to be an american. Regardless of my race or my religion. I voted for President Obama because of who he is, not because of what you were. We have taken our beloved country back from you and we intend on keeping it. Go back to Texas and take everyone with you that thinks that if you are not white, christian and a good ole boy, then you are not an american. And I agree with everyone else when I also say" Please do not touch anything else". Just go......

    December 1, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Mike

    This is news? of course people voted for Obama because they hated Bush. There is no other president elect with a worse resume in the history of our Nation than Barack Obama. He was very fortunate Bush's approval ratings were so low and he still only one by a marginal percentage.

    December 1, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. My V. Nguyen

    I have voted against him in 2000, and I have voted against him again in 2004. Why doesn't anybody listen?

    December 1, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. josh

    I think that Bush did the best job one could do in a bad time. One thing he has been blamed for lately is the economy. There is currently a worldwide depression, not just in America. The economy inevitably has its ups and downs. As for people's feelings on the war in iraq, the news media has shown only the bad side of the war since that is what people like to hear about. 4,000 dead in five years is nowhere near as bad as many people make it out to be. It is horrible, don't get me wrong, but they were all volunteers who knew America's main foreign policy is as a world police.

    For people who would criticize my remarks as pure republican simple-mindedness, racism, and insensitiveness. I would not mind voting democrat. Especially in economic crisises. However, I cannot vote for the morals many of them support.

    December 1, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. Ray MD

    You Think

    December 1, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. REG in AZ

    Over the eight years of the Bush-Cheney Presidency we have been subjected to a great deal of BS always offered to justify, rationalize, disguise and to just manipulate public opinion. The sociopathic mentality, without conscience, of the GWBush admin allowed them to do anything they wanted as they focused on Special Interests and a select few, who returned both covert and overt support, financial contributions and promised compensation for after leaving office, all while giving the average American only apathy, the costs and an abundance of subterfuge. We are now suffering the results of all of this and can only hope, in contrast, that we can trust the Obama admin to conscientiously address the problems and to be honestly transparent in the process.

    December 1, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Sylvia

    Well! You all remember, no one is perfect, only Jesus Christ,
    so let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.

    Fulton county, PA.

    December 1, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Zach K

    Bush is right for the first time ever. Another reason is that we have a Democrat back in the White House.

    1/20/2009. BUSH'S LAST DAY.

    December 1, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. you know it

    Oh wow! Now he sees how bad of a job he has done. It's too late now. Another Democratic president has to come in and do the samething the other Democratic president did – clean up your mess. Like father, like son! That's what you get from a "C" average college student!

    December 1, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. mike

    He actually thinks he did a good job? Is he that stupid? I can't believe he doesn't wake up every night saying "Oh my God, what have I done?"

    December 1, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |

    When he is declared "the worst president (lower case intended) ever, we all need to know who he has replaced – HARDING, GRANT, NIXON and HOOVER. History has already rendered a verdict on this loser, and only Sarah Palin could ever be worse than he is. Let's hope she never makes it out of the frozen tundra!

    December 1, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. Irony

    You, Your party, your parties lies, your warmongering, your ruining of the economy, your causing the deaths of thousands of our soldiers, your causing the deaths of thousands of innocent Iriquis, your pandering to big oil, your ignorance, your manipulation of the judiciary, your manipulation of scientific reports. Also , I think you are a jerk, a drunk, and an idiot!

    December 1, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. zapata

    I agree with Bush, he did push us away at the end. One reason was due to Bush(*republican party )who fail to give america a reason to vote for the Republican. Over all It seem that the new party will do well with new views of progress of the world. Clinton right hand.

    I stand behind Bush for what he did *stand for the freedom of all.

    Down the line I will remember Bush, as a great leader who face the Devil head on. We should never forget that we can face evil and come out with a few black n blue eyes.

    We move forward in god we trust.

    London, Ontario.

    December 1, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Mary Alice

    Hey wait, maybe he's started drinking again, afterall, some of you are the ones that put an alcoholic in the office of POTUS (I know i didn't help) and this last term in office is all just one big drinking game..... Let's all guess on what word we all get to take a drink on is.....

    December 1, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. Lefty

    That Bush's weapons beliefs actually mattered to the believer-in-chief himself is the Iraq war's linchpin myth.

    That's why he can't address whether – sans weapons and minus links – he'd have invaded anyway.

    In fact, of course, we DID invade anyway.

    December 1, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. Show some respect

    He is still the president, and granted, some bad decisions were made, but you cant blame him for everything! Blame the intelligence which told him that there were WMD in Iraq. Blame the Louisiana Governor for not preparing for a hurricane. They did not allow FEMA to do their job.. True, Bush could have sent the military out and kicked the governor out of her post in order to facilitate the aid (is that even allowed in a democracy). History will vindicate him.. It will also point out how inefficient we have become as a nation. Our intelligence is not what it was. When you have people operating on religious principles (islam) and not money, how can we buy them? Proof that with millions on his head, Bin Laden has not been ratted out yet! neither have any of the top on the list like Mullah Omar et all. Lets see what Obama can do.. So far I am impressed with the guy, even though I didnt vote for him, but he has a tough road ahead and he knows it. I will give him space and time to try to fix some of the problems, but the fact is they are out there to get us, and we have to protect ourselves, even if it involves taking the war to their territory to keep them occupied there.

    December 1, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. REG in AZ

    Doug, New Jersey: You have got to be kidding!

    December 1, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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