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. FL 4 OBAMA

    Regulator? Is Bush serious? Does he want us to believe that his party is somehow disconnected from their deregulative principles? Did he also miss the report that Bush/Rove affiliate, Rick Davis, was connected to contributions from Fannie & Freddie as early as August?

    It unfortunately seems to be the same ole nonsense from this administration as the WMD they used to pursue a neoconservative agenda in Iraq.

    Many Americans voted for Obama, because we wanted honest, competent leadership for the people again in this country.

    December 1, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Mike

    The only complaint that I have against President Bush is that he was not able to communicate the what and the why's, because of this his popularity has fallen to just above that of the Democrat controlled congress and has led us to being subjected to four years of rule by Emperor Obama and his ilk.

    December 1, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. LMF

    Thank goodness the dummying down of America is about to come to an end. Let this be a lesson to all...a vote for the average Joe instead of an extraordinary man can be disastrous.

    December 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. 3strikes

    to you all bashing bush....YA'LL VOTED FOR HIM..TWICE., except for the die hard demos, which suffer from idiocy(which nobama demos do now – indep.- turncoat repubs – demos)

    December 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Max

    Well, he's not so dumb as to miss the obvious.

    December 1, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Benjamin

    His deductive reasoning skills continue to amaze me!!!

    December 1, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Frank

    Yeah I would say so. Disenfranchising voters in Florida and Ohio cost you some votes. Attacking and occupying a sovreign nation and destabilizing a region, and lieing to the American people to justify it. Yeah I'm pretty sure that cost your party a few more votes. Presiding over possibly the most corrupt government in history. That probably lost your party a few votes there. Presiding over the biggest economic crisis in history that started with the collaps of Enron and MCI and saw the balloon of big oil, and unfair trade agreements which has contributed to millions of jobs, and homes lost. Yeah that lost your party a lot of votes. But the worst of them all was how you left New Orleans under water drowning fighting for its very existence and you did nothing and the fact that the city is not rebuilt yet. That sir cost your party millions of votes.

    December 1, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. keekers

    Bush is such a sad, pathetic man. Not an ounce of decency or literacy.

    December 1, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Jim Simmons

    Even in dismal failure and running the American ecomony into the ground, Mr. Bush finds ways of self agrandizement..........amazing.

    December 1, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Dons

    Unfortunately for the rest of us, GW was VERY successful in his presidency, and has a lot more smarts than he's usually credited for, as evidenced by many of the comments in this message board. If you think The Bushwacker did a bad job, well, yes – he did a bad job for us, the American people, no doubt about it. But, he wasn't really working for us, was he. He did an *excellent* job for the folks he was really working for: the MIC (military industrial complex), and all his friends in politics and in huge national and multi-national corporations. He did *very* well for them. If you've ever seen the movie, "V for Vendetta," you'll see his most basic tactic. The Shrub used fear (plus a little strategic cheating) to get elected, and to forward his PNAC-y agenda. I'm certain he's feeling just fine about his job; he achieved many of his goals, and doesn't give a hoot about what anyone thinks about him. He'll pardon all his fellow crims, and possibly even himself.
    Frustrating, isn't it. But, it's over, and anyone still clinging to their pride in still admiring him – what can I say? You're idiots. You're lemmings, who would proudly follow your leader over the cliff, because he knows how to "stay the course," even when the course leads to self-destruction.

    December 1, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Lisa in Mission Viejo

    Let us not forget how he also raped our environment. And is set to rape our national parks before he leaves office.

    December 1, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Eyckie

    rchnpdx You think Bush is right???????? Have you been living under a rock for the last 8 years? Nothing Bush says is right and I hope the Obama administration holds him and his cronies accountable for their crimes against the American people and the Iraqi people. This isn't Bush bashing either. The man destroyed the economy, he put millions of people out of work and out of their homes. He has bankrupted America and now he and his band of criminals need to pay.

    December 1, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Sgt Trdy

    RE: carolyn's diatribe.....your delusional remarks reflect the illness permeating the GOP and shrubs administration..failure to accept responsibility for your actions.

    December 1, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. BeefyDaddy

    I can't believe you 22%ers are still out here defending this idiot. Of course your defense is that we haven't been attacked since the last attack during his presidency. Really?!? I spin three times and clap four times before I walk out my front door to prevent elephants from falling on me. And it works! I've never had one land on me!! Idiots. Just because he has crapped on our civil liberties doesn't mean that he is responsible for keeping us safe. All he is responsible for is crapping on our civil liberties. I suppose you think that the airline security is working too. You can't take liquid, but contact lens solution is ok and won't be checked. You carry on is screened, but not the tons of cargo. It is called Security Theater. And this administration deserves one kudo for being great actors.

    For everything else though, he is the WORST PRESIDENT EVER. He broke our country. He and his band of cronies should be on trial. WORST. EVER!

    December 1, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Lia

    I voted for Obama because he was the best choice. Once McCain named Palin, my vote was locked in. Bye bye Shrub! Thanks for making a mess out of our great country – are you rich enough now?

    December 1, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Abra

    I think he is right,Barack Obama could not win election if not this messed made by him.The world still knowing the race that all American hand on their hand.

    December 1, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Steve, Boston, MA

    I cannot wait for my free house when Obama takes office. Come Jan. 20th I will stop working and start collection welfare. This is going to be an easy 4 years for me! Thanks Bush!

    December 1, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. rob

    Well Thank you Bush!!!

    December 1, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Maka'iki

    100% certified moron

    December 1, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. lovable liberal

    Bush and his fellow neocons wanted to go to Iraq. Rumsfeld said on Sept. 12, "Now we can go to Iraq." He didn't wait for the evidence that excluded Iraq. WMD was just a convenient rationale.

    December 1, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. Gerry

    Mr. President, you had nothing at all to do with this past election. The cause for Barack Obama to win in a landslide of popular and electoral votes was all about Barack Obama and had nothing to do with you. Your Administration has been on the sidelines for many months now and has not been a factor in any really important event since god only knows when. I know, everyone wants to take a bit of the shine of Obama with them, I’m no different. However, I gave money to the Obama campaign and voted for Barack Obama because I believe in and trust him to make the right decisions for the US and the rest of the humans who do not reside in the United States. Adios, Mr. President, I’m sure you have a great retirement lined up for yourself. You can leave the lights on in the Oval Office; President Obama will be getting right to work.

    December 1, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. raymond

    bush and his cronies (cheney included) robbed the country, and they got 1 last check w/ this bail out. bush can care less about legacy or anyone else. we republicans have had our party hi-jacked for the past 25 years. I am switching to the democratic ticket. the republicans are crooks.

    December 1, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. chucky1169469

    now only if Sarah Palin will admit the same then the republicans will really get it....

    December 1, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. ryan

    Thank you Doug in NJ....

    December 1, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. mario

    he is fudging the information, they refused over and over again to add any regulations actually the RNC has spent all decades since Regan de regulation our economy and our institutions, you know takign away the rules and checks and balances that made our economy strong,
    like your financials must containt the truth as you know it, not just some made up numbers based on overly complex calculations that mean nothing anyway

    December 1, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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