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. Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    There is a BIG difference between sticking to your values and just being plain stubborn. Bush is without a doubt an example of the latter! Bush is hands down in the bottom 5 of the worse Presidents in the history of this republic!!!

    December 1, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. joey from san diego

    ya, sure, if my comment said "ya i voted for obama becuz bush sure is bad!!!" you would let it be. but no, you can't have anything too risky going onto these boards into the collective consciousness.

    and i thought cnn was better than that. bunch of NWO scum.

    December 1, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Linda Major

    Instead of arguing all you people. How about puting your money where your mouths are and donating to groups that help our injured soldiers? Like companion dogs for limb damaged... or any other groups. Surely we can find a more valuable way to do things. It's easy to type.

    December 1, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |


    December 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Meh

    Mike> That's baloney. I know a lot of Obama supporters and NO ONE has ever claimed that O. is going to pay their bills. Get real.

    And for those saying that W. sticking to his guns at all costs is a GOOD thing....really? Is it really a good idea to stick to your guns just for the sake of sticking to your guns? Seems to me that an intelligent person allows for is all about change...and alters their plans to fit the changes.

    December 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. Dave

    Look at these Republicans... they can't write a sentence without mispelling four words in it, and then mentioning their supernatural big brother in the sky. Superstitious, laughable, and being phased out.

    December 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Annie

    mike@ 5.10

    Economy is in recession since December 2007, today's report in

    "When the economy really tanks" - would you pls explain which tank you are talking about really. What worse condition you are talking about?

    December 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. LIP

    I am inclined to agree with President Bush. Democrats and Republicans alike, voted in favor of invading Iraq, based on intelligence they had received. Remember Hussein invaded Kuwait and burned all their oil wells as well and remember to that the bulk of our oil comes from the Middle East and Hussein was putting these resources at risk and remember 9/11 also. With that, you can review videos of Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd refusing Bush and Greenspan's request for oversight which is why we are where we are today.

    December 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Bob the Bartender

    Yes, Doug in New Jersey, Republicans in the South are the ONLY people that are morally just and have our nation's best interests at heart. Democrats are BAAAAAD, corrupt, and will turn our country into a living hell. Well, I've got news for you. Only a SIMPLETON believes that nonsense. This is a very complex world we all live in. It takes intellegence, maturity, and an open mind to try and understand it. "Good" and "Bad" can be found in all of us, including you. If you ever realize this, maybe you will grow as a human being. Just a final thought..... Remember that President who commited all those serious crimes? His name was Richard Nixon, and he was a Republican.

    December 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. PCS / North Carolina

    Mike wrote December 1st, 2008 5:10 pm ET

    "Well, I'm glad that Obama got elected. I didn't vote for him but hey, he's going to fix everything. I can't wait. By the way, when the economy really tanks in a few months, we can all send our bills to the White House. I'm sure Obama is going to cover them. What's scary is that a lot of Obama supporters really believe what I just typed."

    Yeah right. Your buddies in GOP screwed the whole country. We are in 15 trillion debt, begging Chinese and middle Eastern Sovereign wealth funds to bail out our economy. All the while GWB's guys in Haliburton and Black Water are minting money. Why don't you ask your GOP partners Bill O'Reaily, Limbaugh, Ann Coulter to pay your bills. GOP IS ONLY ABOUT ME AND MYSELF. THEIR FOLLOWS HAVE THE SAME TRAITS !!

    December 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Carolyn is why I voted for Obama?

    I love all these people threatening Obama supporters about how our taxes will go up? So what? Somebody has to pay for YOUR war since Bush didn't have the guts to raise taxes to pay for it because he knew no one would've supported the Iraq War if we actually had to sacrifice for it.
    So go ahead, Barack, raise my taxes to pay off the GOP debt and deficit.
    It's fine by me. It's the right thing to do.

    December 1, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. A_Liberal_Dude

    Our long national nightmare is almost over.

    December 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Kim

    PUH- LEEZE. We voted for someone who is not a war-starting, blustering cowboy wannabe. We voted for someone who will be responsive to the domestic crises facing America, and not act like a non- responsive buffoon. We voted for someone who will be reasoned and pragmatic in his approach to the issues, not someone who will strut around in photo-ops under "Mission Accomplished" signs while years later, we are still mired in a horrible militatry mistake. We voted for someone who will respond quickly to natural disasters, not do a flyover.

    December 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Ken

    George, you are the reason that the majority voted Democratic this time. Thanks for that even though you have just about destroyed everything in this country.

    December 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    thanks for sharing Bush

    December 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. Anna, ATL

    Carolyn: are you kidding?
    Bush was President on 9-11-01.
    hE would never had won over approval for the Iraq invasion if he wasn't.
    And Clinton left office with a Budget on target to be balanced and a surplus that Bush gave back to us (remember that first check in the mail? Mine was about $400.00). Guess he felt he didnt need it.

    But the CIA warned both Bush and Clinton that al Queda was planning attacks, as late as that summer before. No one could have predicted the magnitude of their demonic brilliance.

    People also point out that Clinton could have had Bin Laden captured
    in his tenure, but for WHAT?
    A 9-11 that hadnt happened yet? There wasn't enough evidence to cause an international stir/and possible Muslim backlash.

    December 1, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Carlos

    BUSH is the WORST! I am baffled by people who actually are so mentally incompetent that they really believe themselves when they say Bush is not the cause of everything that is been happening. Mathematically speaking, if you invest $12 Billion a month into exploding bombs and carrying out a war, that is $12 B less that our economy is not getting. It's kind of like investing with a 0% rate of return, not so smart. People who can't admit when their leaders have failed are the cause of the problems that we see in society.

    December 1, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. Mr. E

    90's: Thank Clinton for the sex-joke circus that fueled comedy TV & movies for 8 years. Cigars and french hats...ugh...
    00's: Thank Bush for a refreshing change of pace where a president made decisions without consulting opinion polls every Saturday. Thank Bush for being calm and a straight shooter, he always called it how it was. I enjoyed that.
    08-??: Looking forward to an intellectual president who has strong energy. Looking forward to all races being accountable for their part in building the American dream. No more excuses, no more victim mentality.

    Why is TVLand playing so many Cosby show re-runs since the election??

    December 1, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. Matt

    So, the poop-flinging monkey got it right for once. Big deal. Now, back to the poop...

    December 1, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. Independent

    "It's too easy" with the comment "Bush bashing begins in 3…2…1…" nailed it perfectly. Comment posters on CNN are way too predictable.

    December 1, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. PCS / North Carolina

    Carolyn December 1st, 2008 3:51 pm ET

    "You idiot democrats. This nation was in a recession when Bush became president!!! Let's see how you feel 4 years from now after your taxes have almost doubled. "

    Are you telling us , that we were in a recession in 2000 ? You must have been in another planet. !!

    December 1, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. jack

    Yes mr. Bush the american people want their president to explain himself on policy. We are who he is suppose to answer to. We did not vote against the Republicans. We FIRED you for your incompitence and lies. I hope Mr. Obama will be able to fix all that you have destroyed. Trust me after having to live with you, if he can't we will fire him too, I feel he will be great, Certain that no one could be worse for this county than you have been. Good-bye & good riddence.

    December 1, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. addicted

    Bush bashers belong together. To many people are uneducated and unrealistic. Lets see what they say in 4 more years. Bush did not destroy the country. I am glad one man does not have that much authority. I just wish bush bashers would take responsibility for their part in the story.

    December 1, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. Andy

    Now the village idiot from Texas can go home.

    December 1, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Roberta Lynn

    It is said that the people receive the government they deserve. Sadly, I fear that's correct. We have become complacent, unwilling to see the writing on the wall, content to frolic in the warm water without bothering to notice that it's been getting hotter by the minute.

    So, liberals, enjoy your victory. Jump around. Have a party, file for your free grants. Scream "Gimme my handout!" and make fun of those of us who fought to make sure your "messiah" didn't get access to the most powerful position in the world. Just remember when it all comes crashing down: You own the White House, the Congress, and soon the Supreme Court. You have no one to blame but yoursleves for the mess you just created.

    December 1, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42