December 1st, 2008
02:51 PM ET
9 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. MIke

    I think Carolyn has been smoking her bible! Please girl, check your facts...Bill Clinton was NOT president during 9/11. Go to church and say a prayer that you will receive divine guidence in terms of being an educated and informed citizen. Geez...get a grip!

    December 1, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. George Arlington, TX.

    Wally , you have not lived.

    December 1, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Elliot Kim

    I figure the McCain Campaign knew this from the start. And the realization of its inevitable loss must have prompted it to pick someone like Palin.

    December 1, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. UM Terp in So Cal

    Carolyn, you're responding to the entry and to 'idiot democrats' as if the facts are in debate. They are not and you clearly are very young, misunderestimating the validity of the facts, or very drunk. The country was not in recession when Bush took office, it occurred in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks for which Bush was our sitting president and not Clinton. We are now presently in another recession. Ahem, finally this is not a Christian nation and frankly Christians are wearing out their welcome.

    December 1, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. Born In The USA!

    I'm not sure Carolyn is an American. Can someone please check on that for us??? She sound more like an alien.

    December 1, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. Steve

    I voted for Obama because of Obama.

    Buh-bye, George.

    December 1, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. Wayne from Fullerton, CA

    Ya think?

    December 1, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Now who's the turkey?

    "people will say that this administration tried hard to get a regulator"???

    The most anti-regulatory president in modern history is once again spouting utter nonsense.

    Can't wait til his sorry butt is gone! Hope he & Cheney live long enough to see history set them down as the worst administration in history.

    December 1, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  9. Flash Gorden /-\

    Ha ha! SOME people!?

    December 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. 21778761

    I'm think Bush is a good advisors but I'm much more confortable with Obama's team. I' think now they continued to our national security and that is I very happy

    December 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. mike

    @ Palin Fan –

    I sincerely hope you guys put Palin up there in 2012... as a matter of fact, I urge all Democrats to donate to her campaign and pull the old "Operation Chaos" if she throws her hat in the ring!

    December 1, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. John from Chicago

    Man I hate this guy

    December 1, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. cameroon/west africa


    December 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Miriam, OH

    He's right, most voters backed Obama because of him. He's the WORSE PRESIDENT IN US HISTORY and he needs to get a clue. We would have voted for Donald Duck, but thank God we didn't have to make that decision. We had an intelligent, smart choice in Barack Obama.

    Oh happy day!

    December 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. Blue is my favourite colour

    Bush – yes, you fool–you had a hand in getting Obama elected. You have realized the damage you have done–if only you had realized that sooner, the mess Obama will inherit from you might have been less severe.

    Go back to Texas and take up drinking again, you retarded chimp.

    December 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. jean

    Ya, don't fool us!

    We had mccain and palin as alternative. We had other people who ran against Obama.

    Hillary clinton
    Joe biden,
    Mitt romney,
    dancan hunter,
    mikce huk......and on and on an so fourth.

    people voted for Obama because of who he is, Period!

    December 1, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. Steve

    I like bush!

    December 1, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. Maggie

    He and his cronies will leave with everything of value from the American people including the kitchen sink and the stopper.

    We is broke and our great grand kids will be paying for this monstrous
    And they steal it all in plain view of the world. Amazing!

    December 1, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  19. Thomas

    It's fun to beat a dead horse, isn't it?

    December 1, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Cori from Colorado

    to Doug- New Jersey:

    You're an extremist spewing garbage since the Reagan years! The world is changing before your very eyes, but you shield change with your stupid bible. People like you and Bush constantly tear down positive change for the greater good because of your extreme Christianity & bible babble. Don't know if you're aware, our world has actually changed since 1776. Accept defeat, embrace change!

    December 1, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. leo campbell

    Bush is partially right – everybody voted for Obama.

    Now, Bush should take all the pinball and video poker machines out of the Lincoln Bedroom...

    December 1, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Old Papa

    What happened to the Psychiatrists in this country? This guy needs a brain overhaul for the sake of the Texans since this is where he is gonna be hunting from with his buddy Cheney.

    December 1, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. FL for Obama

    Josh – you can't "vote for morals they (Dems) support." WHAT? McCain and Palin both guilty of abuse of power, McCain has an affair on his ill wife, Palin preaches against pre-marital sex and her teenage daughter is pregnant...yeah....those are WONDERFUL morals...

    December 1, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. Mike

    I find it remarkable that Bush says "politics" thwarted the necessary changes that Freddie and Frannie needed when the AP yesterday ran a detailed account–taken from thorough research–showing that his Administration ignored or vetoed the warnings that regulators and industry analysts were repeatedly sending. It is a sign of how incompetent Bush truly was/is, that he always reverts to blaming others for his mistakes: Iraq? "too bad the intelligence was so bad". The economic crisis? "A lot of that was started before I came to Washington". Who's in charge, Mr President? Isn't 8 years long enough to figure out that something is wrong? It's called accountability. Just watch Obama–who could blame everything on you–and see how HE runs his administration.

    December 1, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. cadia

    mr Bush , good riddens please please go back to your ranch and leave us alone you are responsible of all this mess happening in the world
    thank you and God Bless you ; thanks God Obama has been elected

    December 1, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
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