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. Allen, Sugar Land, Texas

    Worst President ever? I doubt it. I remember L.B.J. 58,000 dead Americans overwhelmes anything Bush and Rummie even thought about. Robert McNamara, ex-Ford Exec, KNEW the North Vietnam Army could not be defeated without all-out war. He told L.B.J that in '67, yet L.B.J refused to listen. McNamara is also at fault, worse than Rumsfeld. Also L.B.J., through the "GREAT SOCIETY" rendered the Black Male and, utilmately, the Black Family, obsolete.

    December 1, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. Bob F.

    I bulieve that George Bush is the best president we ever had

    December 1, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. ERIN of Davis CA

    Carolyn-Clinton wasn't presedent when 9/11 happened

    December 1, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. deb

    Hey, Carolyn, you need to get your facts straight. When Clinton left office we had a SURPLUS of revenue. We are now (thanks to Bush and company) so far in debt that it will take a miracle for Obama to be able to dig us out of this hole. Your ignorance is appalling.

    December 1, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. shashi

    ~ The greatest quest in life is to reach one's potential. ~ He did what he thought was best for America and its citizen... He belived in something and did it... How many of you here who are bashing him have confidence and courage to run for office and win it... Great mind are not understood when they are in office wait for next 12 years and you will think differently and would start praising Bush...

    Some time these great mind have short comming expressing themself. I wished that he had a good PR team who could have handled print and news media efficently like Obama (Who is excellent when it comes to news and print media)...

    December 1, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. dickt

    Bush has squandered everything our country ever had and all of the good things that we stood for. Bush is gone on 1/20/09, my 63rd birthday. What a B'day gift. I'm going to eat a half gallon of ice cream by myself to celebrate!!

    December 1, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Judgment Day

    I wonder what people will say when a major terrorist attack occurs under obama's watch? Or Russia invades Georgia again? Or Iran and North Korea finally get their nuclear toy for xmas?

    December 1, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. rob

    Bush you really though this through , thank you again.

    December 1, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. PM

    By George! I think he finally got it ! Shocking!

    December 1, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Accountability

    Captain Obvious.....

    December 1, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Laverne

    Oh Bush, pleezzz. Not only did Obama get votes because of you, but he also got even more votes because WE were not about to let you hand the shovel over to your twin (John McCain) to finish digging a ditch for the country! Bye, Bush Bye and take Sarah Palin with you!

    December 1, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. STEVE

    Doug- new jersey... those "evil" liberals are the ones trying to prevent ignorance such as yours from spreading. furthermore, they want to advance the education you obviously received so further generations don't misspell simple elementary level words such as "greaty" or "hatrid." do yourself a favor and put the bible down and try to conceive your own thoughts

    December 1, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. JFK

    Did you come up with that on your own Mr Bush?

    December 1, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Fozz-man

    History will look back at Bush as the worst President of modern times. I can't think of anything that got better under his administration.

    December 1, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Rebecca, Milwaukee

    Wow. So much hatred. I don't think he was trying to take credit for Obama's election. I think he was admiting to the fact that he is not a popular president. It just shows how people perceive things the way that suites them instead of trying to find the truth. He may have made a lot of mistakes but he's not an evil person. So tired of the bashing! Hopefully President Elect Obama can help unify the country, but he sure has his work cut out for him.

    December 1, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Jim

    Carolyn, when was it ever decreed that the US is a Christian nation?! If I remember correctly the Constitution says there is a separation of church and state. You need to learn to be a little more tolerant of people that don't agree with your belief structure.

    And for your information Karl Marx was a Christian.

    December 1, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Lita W

    Ya think?

    December 1, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |


    HOW ABOUT THAT CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    December 1, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. ALFIE


    December 1, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. G from RTP

    Actually I want to thank Bush. If he wasn't so bad there wouldn't have been a Barak Obama

    December 1, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. CanIcallyouJoe

    No kidding. I voted for Obama because of you 100%. I also felt ashamed to be an American because of you, felt scared the draft would be reinstated because of you, educated myself on government fraud because of you, and learned Japanese because of you – in preparation to expatriate in the event McCain won and started your third term.

    How you haven't been permanently disabled from the amount of lying you have done is beyond me. I hope you enjoy your escape compound in Paraguay.

    December 1, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Ruby

    Sounds like Bush finally woke up. Lines of people starting as early as 5am to vote for a man with minimal experience into the highest ranking power in the world. I agree with "Bush Be Gone" – I'm convinced Bush is just severely mentally ill too. The economy, the wars – all those poor innocent people dead, a 26% approval rating. And the man is still smiling. Can you stand it?

    December 1, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Don Adams

    This president lives ina bubble and has no concept of the real world.

    He " kind of wishes" he could change his decision on going into Iraq?

    Come on...........give me a break.

    December 1, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Johny

    If you are going to post comments about Bush and/or Palin being dumb or un-educated, at least try to use proper grammar and spell checking. Otherwise you just make yourselves look dumb.

    December 1, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Blue balloons

    A month after the election is over, and he finally 'gets it.' Nice.

    December 1, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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