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. Bud

    Thankyou, George Bush. Thankyou so very very much. Thankyou for taking a crap on the constitution, stuffing it in a paper sack and setting it on fire at the doorstep of American history. Only YOU could manage to make our racist, right-leaning country SO DESPERATE that it would elect a black democrat out of fear. Did anyone EVER see that happening? No. But you, GW, you managed to do it. The good news is, we're going to get to see one of history's greatest presidencies emerge from the repugnant ashes of our nation and help re-make America into the republic our forefathers envisioned. Amen!

    December 1, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Angie-OHIO

    Hey josh December 1st, 2008 4:07 pm ET

    For people who would criticize my remarks as pure republican simple-mindedness, racism, and insensitiveness. I would not mind voting democrat. Especially in economic crisises. However, I cannot vote for the morals many of them support.
    _______________________________________________________how much food did the morals of the repubs put on you table. they are NO MORE MORAL THAN THE DEMS. PLZ. GET OFF THAT MORAL CRAP.

    December 1, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. Peter TX

    thanks for sharing Bush!

    December 1, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. George Arlington, TX.

    May have helped.--–It was a home run.

    December 1, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Ian

    There wasn't much of a difference between McCain and Obama, considering they both voted to socialize the housing market and financial institutions. They both supported continuing the war on terror. They both voted for FISA. Why not throw the dice and go with a Democratic president this time around?

    December 1, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. TJ


    December 1, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Anne

    Carolyn, are you George W's love child??? Before you go advising people to go look up words, maybe you should check your facts. Bush was president when 9/11 happened!! And the economy is the worst it has been since the great depression under Bush's administration..even Bush knows that.

    December 1, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. hal2k1

    Actually Bush wasn't shaking in his boots, he was reading a bedtime story to some kids as a photo op. He didn't leave immediately because he didn't want to frighten them. So he finished the story. Talk about priorities...

    December 1, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. Joe Mo

    Thank you Mr. President, now go back to Texas, write your book of memories and make millions while us poor folks have to pay for your policies and mistakes. Bush, I wish you all the worst that life can offer.

    December 1, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. Ken

    @Doug, New Jersey: Know this - You are a pathetic deluded neo-pinhead. The level of stupidity to praise Bush, of all things, as "one who defended our freedom and prosperity" is stunning in its disconnect from reality. You have either not been keeping up with events for the past 8 years and are too rich to notice the current economic distress of the country, or your perverted outlook on life is so dominated by rightwing dogma that you cannot correctly interpret the world around you.

    That people like YOU, the rightwing underbelly of this nation, are allowed to publicly spew your nonsense is at once a testament to the freedoms of this great country and a clarion warning to the rest of us that our freedoms need to be protected - not only from the dangers outside our borders, but just as importantly from the dangers within, dangers that are posed by false patriots like yourself who not only spew the rhetoric of your rightwing masters but believe it as religious truth.

    So know this also: we are vigilant, and the youth you speak of include my sons. And far from not having any country to fight for, they are ready for you and your ilk, and they are well prepared to fight you at every corner should you attempt your socio-political dictatorship. You and your "Red America" just took a well-deserved beating at the polls, and you are becoming less relevant all the time.

    Your "Red America" is well-named as Dumbf-kistan.

    December 1, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. Angie-OHIO

    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.
    _______________________________________________________hey what rock have you been under. 9/11 was under dumb dumb bush's watch NOT President Clinton. you need to brush up on you history timelines repubs. of course you all seem to have bad memories. And I can understand why.

    December 1, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Palin Fan

    Palin for PRESIDENT '12

    December 1, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. mona

    once an idiot always an idiot

    December 1, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. linda from South Dakota

    you got that right mr bush,, the mess you have created has lead many americans to want someone who they can believe in and thats barack obama,,, the mess you(bush) have creatd,, i would run and hide if i was you,, you are war hungry and didnt care how much money you sent over there,,, you didnt care how people here in america suffered and are suffering,,, be gone bush,, woohoo barack!!!!!

    December 1, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Peter

    No duh Mr. W

    December 1, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Peter (CA)


    What's scary is that you are making sound as if it will be Obama's fault and I am sure the right wingers will buy it. Economists are already telling us we have not hit bottom yet and things will get worse before they get better. Recovery won't begin until 2010.

    At least we finally got the right guy in there to start the recovery.

    December 1, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. kidding me?

    and why is he talking?

    December 1, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Anubis

    whats really scary is that ppl are still hoping to see Obama failed....he didnt create this mess and i am tired of the republicans with the "the barbarians are at the gate" mentality. You know the "how Obama is gonna cripple the economy and redistrubute wealth" fact check ppl fear tactics arent working this time around. You had your opportunity to run the country and you screwed it up. Now its the dems turn...remember if you arent part of the solution are part of the problem.

    December 1, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. ken

    Bush lied, people died, Go away please!

    December 1, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. Lost in Texas

    @ Carolyn.....I wish we acted more like a Christian Nation as you said we were. Then we would follow the teaching more of Christ and be more forgiving, tolerant, and not as judgemental. People always want to speak Christian but don't always want to follow the golden rule. And if you are not sure what the golden rule is..there is a real big book where you can find it out. Also the Republicans aren't the ONLY ones in our country that practice Christianity, it's just that there are some of us who try to practice it correctly

    December 1, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Joe Regis

    Even Bush is taken credit for electing Obama. I know some intelligent member of the Bush family voted Obama but I am not sure they were many.

    December 1, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Jones


    December 1, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. TruthBeTold in PA

    You can tell how bitter and arrogant liberals are here...they're still bashing bush and republicans even after their buddy Obama won...I cant wait to see all the excuses they'll try to come up with when obama's policies fail...they'll probably try and blame it on bush even after he's out of office for a while...well guess what, OBAMA WAS ELECTED TO FIX THE SO CALLED MESS WERE if he DOESNT fix it, it's HIS FAULT, no one elses. People can keep blamin bush all they want...but obama promised change and promised us he would fix i dont want to hear any exuses if he cant do what he said he would.

    December 1, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  24. Pier Giacalone

    This is the most poignant and self-reflective I've ever heard Bush. Almost makes you believe that Cheney spending the 1990's building up Haliburton/KBR to be given a no bid contract worth billions had nothing to do with invading a country that didn't attack us.

    And he's right, Bush did just continue the same approach of deregulation that Clinton took (which in turn was just an extension of Reagan/Bush). Clinton's presidency produced the bubble and Bush's the housing bubble. However Clinton didn't just hand over (what is going to be) trillions of dollars to the crooks who caused the bubble in the first place. I don't recall getting any $80 billion tax-payer bailout.

    We're all going to be paying off this presidency for a looooong time. Particularly the 30,000 + wounded vets from Iraq and the families of the dead.

    Worst ever....

    December 1, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Peter (CA)


    Any quaking took place because Bush sat like a deer in the headlights for seven minutes. And then there were the news reports that no one knew where Bush's plane was and Cheney was in a bunker somewhere. Easy to think that they abandoned us.

    Rant on Carter all you want. He was a President who was unable to fulfill many of the things he wanted to do. However, he mediated peace between Israel and Egypt, ending a conflict that went back, oh, 5000 years or so. He brought some stability to the Middle East. That alone puts him above Nixon (whose actions threatened a democracy) and Bush (who presided over problem after problem and had no idea how to fix it).

    December 1, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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