December 1st, 2008
02:51 PM ET
6 years ago

Bush says some voters backed Obama ‘because of me’

ALT TEXT

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. Jeez

    Brian from Omaha, you are the biggest joke in the world. Gee, remember when Shrub said that he wasn't into nation building? Why is it "our moral obligation" to do so?

    December 1, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. DeVone

    I donot know about any one else but I voted for Obama
    because he made and makes good sence to me Geoge Bush
    will be gone no matter what so he can just get on his
    horse and ride into the sunset, people voted for Obama
    because of Bush and many more voted for Obama because of Obama

    December 1, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Cashman

    This is certainly, undoubtedly, the smartest thing the man has said in eight years.

    December 1, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. joey from san diego

    republicans don't make you any more safe then democrats. That is all in your head. The reason there hasn't been an attack since 9/11 is because the terroists did exactly what they wanted to do. Ruin the economy, make us all fearful in our daily lives, and bring the war on terror to there turf so they can easily kill more americans. WAKE UP AMERICA! THE TERROISTS DID WIN!! YOU LET THEM WIN!

    December 1, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. EARL THE PEARL

    BOY DID HE SAY A MOUTHFUL. I THINK THAT WHEN HE LEAVES OFFICE OUR ECONOMY WILL RECOVER FASTER THAN THEY THINK. HE COULD PROBABLY GET A JOB RUNNING A POPCORN STAND.HE RUINED THE COUNTRY AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN SHORT ORDER.

    December 1, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Independent Voter

    Deterioation of families, economy, education, foreign affairs. I think every American had A LOT to partake with this, not just Bush. The average "gimmie gimmie, cocky, holier-than-thou, egotistical, lazy and uninspired" American is to blame for a lot as well. American's have lost a lot common sense, rational skills, ethics and morals, and bravery and heart since the greatest generation – lets hope we can stop pointing fingers at others and point fingers at ourselves.

    December 1, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Uncle Fester

    wally December 1st, 2008 2:08 pm ET

    President Bush has been the best president in my life-time.

    Wally, I am guessing that you are eight years old??

    December 1, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. jed

    Bush is right!!! Republican voter like me is so pissed off of him and what they did to the economy,thats why I voted for Obama.

    December 1, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. MN observer

    It wasn't just Bush's poor policy and all the other things that gave people a reason to vote for Obama. John McCain DID NOT SAY ONE WORD ABOUT WHAT HE WAS GOING TO DO ABOUT ANYTHING while he was campaigning while OBama had a plan and spoke to the plan. That's what people wanted to hear. They wanted to know what was going to happen. All McCain did was bad mouth and Sarah couldn't put two thoughts together.

    December 1, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  10. Ali Baba

    Mr. President,

    I have a terrible time understanding your disregard of law and morality during the past 8 years. You have imprisoned thousands of people around the world and many in secret prisons without recourse to due process. You have violated the privacy rights of many Americans and you "manufactured" evidence to invade Iraq and wage an illegal war with very questionable outcomes. What about the millions that became refugees and the tens of thousands that were killed in Iraq because of your arrogance and misduided policies? What about the treasures that have been wasted?

    Add to that your unwillingness to push for just and lasting peace between Israel and all Arabs. Why would you oppose peace between Syria and Israel for example? You know Arab and Muslim People are oppressed by their dictators and have no human rights or legal protection in their countries. Who would give a voice to the oppressed and the poor?..What would you do if had to live in such conditions?

    December 1, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. E.C.Coleman

    President Bush has been an outstanding President, and he has kept this country safe from Terrorists and provided Freedom for Millions.
    Critiques and Nay-sayers can Bash President Bush all they want, for it's really easy to hate, speak unkind words, carry tales of untrue substance, while taking up the same opinions as those who know Absolutely Nothing about the man.
    Never in my lifetime did I ever expect to hear or to see Americans treat a President as unkindly and as hatefully as President Bush has been treated. It is Shameful that this country has sunk to such a new low and that the Democrats have sponsored this 'Hate Bush Campaign' to destroy his Presidency. The scum on late night T.V. has tripped beyond its boundaries with ridicule.
    I can hardly wait until Barack Hussein Obama, a man totally unfit for the Presidency, as well as totally inexperienced, becomes the brunt of hate jokes and late night humor. Just wait.....you sick, disrespectful Democrats and weak, hateful Americans......you won't like it, and neither with Obama, who is a total and complete Fraud!

    December 1, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. Jeez

    Carolyn December 1st, 2008 3:51 pm ET

    You idiot democrats. This nation was in a recession when Bush became president!!! Our country has not had a terror attack since he became president. Bill Clinton did not have the backbone to do anything about 9/11.
    -
    Uh, what planet are you from?

    December 1, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. MikeH

    rob, I think I know what you meant to type.

    December 1, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. wendell

    you stupid people will be very sorry in about 1 year. you and your corrupt president obama will try to take away every freedom one redeeming plus is you will get shafted also.

    December 1, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Unshrub

    Gee, you think..........

    December 1, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. bababear

    Some of the people on this commentary are downright scary with their opinions.

    December 1, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Scott NYC Independent

    Not entirely true or correct. The democratic vote for 2000 and 2004 was not energized. More than half of the democrats registered didn't vote. In 2000 because we thought Gore had it in the bag; I mean really why would the country pick a knuckle head over an educated environmentalist – fooled us and the world. In 2004, Kerry although he seems like a nice guy really wasn't the choice the democratic ticket wanted and we were as the republicans were this year – without a real candidate we can rally behind. What the Bush presidency did was make us realize how important each of our "one vote" really is. He demonstrated to us that the President really can screw up the land, the country and our world. So we got off our collective butts so McCain couldn't continue where Bush left off. Bush will be infamous.

    December 1, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. MikeH

    This just in:

    George W Bush realizes the world is round, but... maybe it's only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. The jury's still out...

    December 1, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. rob

    My message to Bush is to go home and kick rocks, Bush is the worst president the country has every had. He has run this counrty into the ground. and as for Doug from New Jersey. Your a Donkey. The country needs to stand by Obama. We need leadership right know, Not hatred. Which is why the republician party lost. They looked like a party that was full of hatred. If your going to be a Bible hugger know that God whats use to love our neighbor. Not hate on people because of color, religon, or sex. and if you think that because somebody is liberal that he or she can't do a good job running this country you are dumb. There can be good learders in any party. So for some of you clueless ingnorant people on this blog go back to school, study astonomy, become an astronant, and take off to Mars,and stay.because people like you are not humans, your aliens.

    December 1, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Doug

    Wow liberals have such hate for anyone who disagrees with them. We will find out in 10-15 years if the moves Bush made were right or wrong. The economy was rocked in the late 90's and and early 00's but I guess that was Bush as well even though he wasn't in office. As I recall the NASDAQ was at 5600+ and fell to 1100. Do some math and you will find that is more than what the market has currently fallen. I agree that Bush didn't do the best job and let the wacko's like Kennedy/Pelosi/Reed/Kerry turn him into a wimp. Bush may have had the lowest rating for a president but the congress beat him with a 9% approval rating and you all just voted more of them in :) If we only had a real candidate to vote for.

    December 1, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. joey from san diego

    republicans don't make you any more safe then democrats. That is all in your head. The reason there hasn't been an attack since 9/11 is because the terroists did exactly what they wanted to do. Ruin the economy, make us all fearful in our daily lives, and bring the war on terror to there turf so they can easily kill more americans. WAKE UP AMERICA! THE TERROISTS DID WIN!!

    December 1, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. From DC

    Carolyn and Doug from NJ:

    I thank your imaginary-friend Christian God every single day for the fact that you people are now the MINORITY in this country!!!

    Out with the Radcons, and IN with INDEPENDENT THINKERS AND INTELLECTUALS who are united for the greatest cause: A BETTER WORLD RID OF IGNORANCE AND HATRED!!!

    Let's not let the Radcon fear-mongering spread anymore ridiculous lies to those who are ignorant enough to listen! Let’s get informed, so that the US and the American people can once again rise up through the justice with which it operates internally and externally, through the re-attainment of our superior standards of living, scholarly accomplishments and advancement, and not the blind patriotism which leads idiots to believe that a strong military and being "Christian nation" are the reasons this is the best country in the world.

    December 1, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. hairman

    I would like to thank President Bush for keeping our country from attack from 9/11 to the present, I am sure that was a tremendous task and I am thankful!!

    December 1, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. David, Silver Spring, MD

    I wonder if W still feels that "C" students should grow up to be President?

    December 1, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Ryan, CA

    Carolyn

    Do you only believe what the right wing media tells you?

    December 1, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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