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. Tired of W, OH

    "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me."

    Ya think??!!??

    December 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Robert The Man

    Go ahead Libs, post all your stupid comments on this one.

    December 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Anonymous


    December 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. ajks


    December 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. silver bells

    you are right president bush, but the biggest reason was mccain's lack of judgement in a running mate, that scared people to death. if he had chosen someone with good leadership, he might have had a chance.

    December 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Retired Army in San Antonio

    "Some voters back Obama because of me" ?!?!?!?

    DUH!!!! Talk about having an amazing grasp for the obious!

    BTW......are there provisions for the dolt to leave office early in deference to the Obama Administration?


    Should be........

    December 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Carol in Idaho

    Yes, pure politcal reasons – like letting people drown in New Orleans, not reacting to that famous memo of Aug. 11, 2001 which may have prevented thousands of Americans from dying, the outing of Valerie Plame, Gitmo, torture, the Patriot Act and the list goes on and on. Please for the sake of the country – go quietly back to Crawford. Jan. 20, 2009 is just around the corner – talk about a much anticipated Christmas gift. Goodye George.

    December 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It wasn't just because of Bush that people voted for Obama. He (Obama) did have some ideas to move government forward. As for people voting for Obama to be against Bush, that is some what true because McCain had many of the same policies that Bush does.

    I am not sorry to see Bush go. He shouldn't have been president. As president, he symbolized the country to some degree. I don't want our president to look like an idiot who doesn't like to grow, but I'd rather have a curious intellectual attitude like Obama.

    December 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Nia Hussein- Phoenix, AZ

    That would be an understatment mr bush

    December 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. Beverly, NYC

    It was not the inelligence that led to this war, it was your blindness to see Saddam as a paper tiger he was. Even when Hans Blix tried for weeks to tell you and your administration that there were NO WMD's, you and Cheney choose to smear Mr. Blix's name rather than believe the truth. And according to to your former press sec. your words were F it we're going in. Thousands of Americans and Iraqi's killed for what ?

    As a former Marine who served during desert shield/storm, I firmly believe your father should have fininshed the job in 1991. Our allies would have marched into Baghdad with us, Saddam's republican guard were either captured, on the run or willing to fight with the allies. We would have been treated as liberators then. But 10 years later with phony intel and the excuse of 9/11 you re-engaged. Not getting Bin-Laden should be one of your regrets Mr. President. As a resident of NYC I remember your big speech in the pit saying Bin Laden would "hear from us soon." I'm sure he's still waiting, and 3400 plus families are also wishing you had a do-over.

    December 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Mitch from Des Moines

    So his administration didn't lie to everybody and forge documents trying to link Iraq to Bin Ladin? When early records came back that it was looking like their were no WMDs they didn't say, "Come on. Give us some information that we can use!"

    December 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Randy

    Of course he would have started the war in Iraq. Dick Cheney told him to. Dick needed Haliburton to support the after-war effort to secure his muti-million dollar "golden parachute" from when he was thier CEO.

    December 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Clarence, MO

    I think that was an understatement. A lot of people voted for Barack because of Bush and his policies. They felt that John McCain would have been four more years of the same old thing.

    We made the best choice and the future looks great.

    December 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. Chris

    DUH...Of course it was because of you! We didn't want 4 more years of your politics. Had you made some rational decsions without dragging this country down the sewer, your party's candidate might have had a fighting chance. But it was a lost cause with yrs of war and a ruined economy. What'd you expect??

    December 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. annoymous

    one of the smartest things that he has ever said

    December 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Antonio in Los Angeles

    That is only part of the reason. It was also becuase it seemed very obvious that McCain was on pace to continue the same policies and philosophies.

    December 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. An American

    People did not want another 4-years of Bush policy – however most people refuse to accept the fact that Bush is not responsible for everything that has gone wrong in this Country. Democrates have done their greedy share of running us.

    Obama was not the Country's only choice however, and Hillary did not win because of the lack of support from her own party – not to mention the bias media and sexiest people against her. She could have run a better campagain but that is not the reason she lost. She was not African American and she was a woman is why she lost.

    She is a better woman than I would be, helping Obama and all and now being SOS for him. She is the one with the brains and Obama needs people with brians. He will be the one to get the credit which is sad, and that is why I wish Hillary would not have backed him, but I guess you do what you have to do to stay in with the democratic party.

    December 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Cindy

    He's just being reflective, and honest with himself. Nothing wrong with that, at all. Obama did run on a platform of being different from Bush, and that his opponent was the same as Bush.

    Bush once said, that America is addicted to oil, and he also said Wall Street was drunk... he knew. Along the way, he figured it out. He led us to that addiction. But by the time he figured it out, we were already too far gone. The only answer to to his folly was to remove him and his administration. Clean the slate.

    I'm glad he's upset, and admits he wishes things had been different. It at the very least, shows he's not entirely in denial.

    December 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. boered1

    what unmitigated gall!!

    Actually I am sure many did vote for Obama because they did not bush in the white house again.. this time using the name mccain.. but I suspect that more voted for Obama because he is the better leader and he had the better plans for America.. but I guess that would be too much for bush to understand and too boring for the "news" to report on

    December 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. Lisa

    WOW, Mr. President!!! "For the first time in my adult life you were right about this one".

    December 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Jeez

    Gee, ya think?

    December 1, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Dick in CT

    Bush quote: "......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."

    Might be Bush hasn't enough knowledge to properly explain what he did. He is most likely clueless anyway.
    It'll be really nice to see an intelligent person running this country instead of a cowboy and his satanic sidekick.

    December 1, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. francine from Quebec

    George..Here's a newsflash. People would have voted for a pig with a bow tie . Anything would be better than you. I think that they voted for Obama because unlike you he seems to be honest, intelligent and decisive.

    December 1, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Steph

    He still won't admit to any mistakes! Amazing! Of course most of us voted for Obama because of him. His administration has been a disaster on many fronts.

    Oh, and he had 8 years to push for bank regulation, if he wanted to do that. Wasn't deregulation a cornerstone of his agenda?

    December 1, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Bush is a war criminal.....

    December 1, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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