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. Larry Karmel

    Has the village idiot finally realized he got Obama "some" votes? How about millions of votes. Thank God the fundamentals of the economy are still strong.

    December 1, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Joe Green

    Jiminy, I think I'm gonna cry. I mean, how pathetic is that?

    Poor SOB.

    Oh, wait, poor US!

    December 1, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. Steve in VA

    Hey Obama, thanks for my 401K going up in smoke. I really appreciate that you punk.

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

    LOL – Why, I do believe this is the FIRST time in eight years Dubya has actually spoken the truth ... DUH. Amazing how incredibly stupid and arrogant Dubya is. He couldn't catch a clue if it up and smacked him in the head.


    December 1, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. billp

    Worst. President. Ever. I look forward to seeing magazine covers worldwide during Inauguration Week with a picture of Bush and words like "Good Riddance," "Now, the Cleanup," and "Finally, He's Gone."

    December 1, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. tageis

    People don't you get it the freedom you have to speak your mind on this board is exactly what Bush was defending. I hate the fact that people can not say one positive thing Bush did even Obama gave Bush credit on something he did today. Come on and I hope Obama governs towards the center and not to the left like I am fearing.

    December 1, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. ryan

    This is quite sad to read. While I haven't agreed with his financial decisions lately, he will be looked at as a President that fought for what he believed in.....that my friends is character. The eight years prior to Bush weren't bad for America, just a lack of character in the leader. I fear that Obama has the same tendencies as Clinton.

    Bush did inherit problems that were not addressed by previous administrations, including his dad's. His work in office will be judged many years from now.

    Obama can not fix the economy, nor can Bush. The free market system works just fine when you keep government out of it....

    December 1, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Bush Psychiatrist

    Ah, leave him alone.

    His conscience is stalking him.

    He can only try to 'out run' it for so long.

    Then, he will become delusional when he can no longer run and hide.

    Oh wait.


    We can't tell the difference between now and then.

    December 1, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Bushed

    That is the first truthful thing he has said in 7 years. I'll be nice and give him a year. LOL

    December 1, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Charles L. Shaw, Liverpool, NY

    Still waiting... let me know when the changes begin? New names same problems, with the same failed solutions.
    Increase spending, print more money, increase the national debt, and change is coming when?
    The democrates and the republicans are bought and pay for by the same insider, Big corporate, banking, Wall Street money.
    WWIII has happened and somehow we lost, without a shot fired.
    Constitutional law after law is being broken, and no one cares, so much for the last hope of freedom in the world.

    December 1, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. dg

    I can see how the Market is reacting to Obamas change of the guard............

    December 1, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Jeffrey

    To Brian-Omaha: when Bush talk office he was warned by U.S. intelligence about Al Queda and Bin Laden's increase of activity, but the neocons in his adminstration pressed for a removal of Saddam Hussein instead of concentrating on that threat. Many of them were members of the Project For the New American Century and had pressed for Hussein's removal since Clinton was in office (they sent him a signed group letter urging him to do it). During the time from Bush's election to 9/11 no one was closely watching Bin Laden and as soon as 9/11 happened the neocons in Bush's administration tried to link 9/11 to Hussein so they could continue their plan to oust him. I am not making any of this up. If you know about this and still think Bush should have gone into Iraq, then you might consider the millions-yes, millions-of totally innocent Iraqi civilians who have died or been displaced since the war began. The U.S. has caused far more harm to all of those dead Iraqis than Hussein.

    December 1, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. republicans hate america

    not some dim wit all. and so what your side kick McCain was a horrible choice too.

    December 1, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. LCat

    WOW, an insightful moment from a man who has had few over the past 8 years. What a mess he has caused and all ego driven. His false bravdo over Iraq and every other country has caused such distruction and ruined the reputation of this country. Let's not give him all the credit for the safety of this country after 9/11, he does not deserve it, if anything he continuously put us in danger.
    I voted for Obama because of this awful mess of the economic meltdown, Iraq war, and Katrinia just to name a few that Bush created. After living through having my husband deployed to Iraq to fight for his country, it angers me as to the reason why he was sent. However I have tremendous pride for him and all who serve this country which is why I am even more angry by Bush's abuse of his power.
    1/20 is too far away and the best thing that Bush can do is sit quietly in the White House until the moving van arrives and them go back to Texas so that this country can move toward recovering.

    December 1, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. BenDover

    Chimpy thinks that "some" voters supported Barack because of him? Try about 60 MILLION voters you delusional putz!

    December 1, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. DB25

    I can't believe Bush was actually right about something for once.

    December 1, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Confused

    What I'm very confused about is where are ALL the people that voted for Bush the 2nd time,the first time ok you gave the dummy a chance, but the second time. Where are these people?

    December 1, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. amazed

    simply amazing to see the blind, but mostly silly rage on these boards. Bush bashing is as trendy as ipods I guess. And for all of you who torch Bush for somehow being egotistical because he thinks this is all about him, it IS all about him. HELLO! Let's face it, Obama was a tremendous candidate, but Bush himself catapulted him (or any other dem candidate for that matter) right to the White House. People don't care or understand about their Congressional's all about the President, and people wanted a 180 from Bush. Just look at the crutch of Obama's campaign – "McCain = 4 more years of Bush".

    So go ahead and make your miserable selves feel good by calling our President an idiot, but at least be smart about it.

    December 1, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Brad

    It's like we never had an election almost a month ago. C'mon guys, time to move forward.

    Election is OVER! Done. Finished... get over it.

    December 1, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. steve

    George bush is the Sofa King.
    Sofa King Wee Todditt.

    December 1, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. Daniel

    This may be the first intelligent observation the man has ever made.

    December 1, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. joe the plumber

    thank God he will be gone, 8 years we need to get back somehow!

    December 1, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. SJC

    It's comical to read some of the posters who beat their chests and cry that Poor George is being bashed. These same hypocrites spent every waking hour bashing Clinton over issues like Whitewater and lying about sex. Bush was president during 9/11, sent over 4100 soldiers to their deaths for no good reason and has presided over the worst economic disaster in memory. Not to mention that the perpetrators of 9/11 are still out there.

    Oh my, Poor George is being bashed!

    December 1, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Rome6888


    Al-Queida did not form under Clinton. It was formed wayyy before him. Do you know osama bin laden was good friends with Ronald Reagan? Have you ever heard of the Iran-contra? Al queida was formed due to this treason treaty by your adoring president Reagan.

    What Bill Clinton encountered during his first few months of presidency was the deteriorating relations formed under Regan and Bush 1

    December 1, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. Dianne

    Okay, 8 years as president, and you don't take any responsibility for our current economic situation? I don't get it!! Not wanting to "bash", but how do you explain the state of our country at this point in time?

    December 1, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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