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. Larry

    He's very honest and just calling a spade a spade .

    December 1, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. Masher

    I add one comment that disagrees with the liberal tone and it never makes it out of moderation.

    Amazing! Talk about free speech suppression and censorship. You liberals in the media are the worst!

    December 1, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. Uncle Fester

    Watchout!! December 1st, 2008 5:09 pm ET

    While all you libs were shaking in your boots on 9/11 President Bush was not..

    He sat there late a shell shocked moron reading My Pet Goat
    Where were you, under the table?

    December 1, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. paul (staunch Moderate)

    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. ........... This nation was a Christian nation until you democrats polluted it. How do you like the idea of your taxes increased to give to those that are too sorry to work and doesn't pay taxes. It is marxist, look up the meaning of the word.

    I think you need to get your facts straight, dear lady.

    But the WORST comment you made was about this being a Christian nation. An extremely insulting thing to say!!! There are MANY different religions practiced in this nation.

    Your comment proves that the extreme religious evangelical right wing of this country is trying to create a Theocracy.

    Now YOU go look that one up!!

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

    Hey, Mike, check your facts...Obama's resume is identical to Abraham Lincoln's. So, one could conclude by your comments that Lincoln was grossly unqualified to be president, too.

    December 1, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. Frann Altman in CA

    It's always all about him. That me-me-me mindset is why are in this state of dis-economy.

    December 1, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. Infantryman

    Palin in '12!

    December 1, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. Jim Jones

    Your ignorance apparently knows no bounds. As has been pointed out, the recession began after Bush took office. 9/11 happened on his watch. We may not have had a domestic attack since, but the worse one in our history happened under Bush's nose. Not to mention all the laws he's broken (both domestic and international), the illegal war he's gotten us into, and our credibility being shot to hell. Your ignorance mirrors his. It's no wonder you're a fan. If you and he are shining examples of Christianity, then I'm glad I'm a godless heathen.

    December 1, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. Mike in Toronto

    I hope history treats Bush fairly and is honest about his presidency: it was a disaster, the worst in memory. That's fair and honest.

    December 1, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. Desert Storm Vet

    Probably not as many who voted for Obama because he was black and just wanted to see history made. I'm not a racist before you label me as one, simply because I have the guts to say that some people did not vote for him because he is black, but I bet some voted for him because he is.

    December 1, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. Nevada Mom

    Okay, okay.
    Lots of heated feelings out there on this one...

    Yes, most of us in this country realize that re-electing Bush was a big mistake. Yes, it sure was his administration that was in charge when we were hit by the biggest attack on our own soil. Yes, it was his administration that ignored the briefings about Bin Laden being determined to attack using hijacked airliners. Yes, it was his administration whose members stood in front of television cameras as Katrina made landfall and told us, "We are not aware of any people in the New Orleans convention center". Oh, and they said this while the rest of us watched people suffering from our very own television screens, as the coverage from ever major news station was nothing but Katrina. Yes, it was his administration who was STRUCK DOWN by the Supreme Court of this land more than once for the illegality of its policies regarding torture and special trials.

    Oh, yes, the list could go on and on for pages here. We all know its true. Even the Bush-Lovers on this blog know these things are true. So, all of the hate going around on here isn't really a dispute over whether Bush was a good leader or not. Clearly, he's not been a great leader. I would defy anyone to demonstrate otherwise. We are clearly worse off than 8 years ago and much of the blame does go to the guy who was supposed to be guarding the till... you know, the President? He's supposed to make sure we aren't robbed blind by the congress.

    Still, Bush probably is a nice guy. We all know we thought he'd be great to hang out with and play a little pool or darts.
    And, to his credit, he really has made quite an enormous commitment to the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. So, that's good.
    I wonder if his biggest fans on this blog know how liberal he is... supporting those African AIDS victims and all.

    December 1, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. terry maineiac

    caroline just one question who was president on Sept 11, 2001

    Our country has not had a terror attack since he became president.

    December 1, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. Bobbyo

    I cant wait till something happens on Obamas watch.
    Then all this talk about Bush should have and could have done this and that will all be turned toward him.

    The kids who are 8 years old now, better plan on fighting a much bigger Iran in 10 years. Since we wont finish the job in Iraq, Iran will walk right on in and take over. Then we get to go back and send more troops and have more die fighting a much worse enemy.

    Stabilize Iraq now or fight Iran later.

    December 1, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |


    December 1, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  15. jerolene

    I'm going to try and post this again, since they obviously are trying to censor me here. Oh I forgot, they are the media and they do love drama! They don't want anyone posting something with a positive energy on here! This wheel started turning a long time ago. It doesn't matter who is running this "great" country of ours because some things are out of anyone's control. I won't post the rest of what I wrote before, since a small voice heard is better than no voice at all!

    December 1, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. Mike in Dallas

    Thank God it the reign of King George is almost over. Thank God we are getting a level headed, intelligent president to lead us out of the woods. Thank God the (fake) Christian evangelical trend seems to be over. RIP.

    December 1, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. Irene

    Just think how different our Country would be, right now, if GW Bush had never run at all.............makes you want to cry, doesn't it!

    God bless President-elect Obama and give him the strength to successfully deal with THE MESS he is being handed.....

    December 1, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. Al, Southern California

    He is not in prison yet... after all war crimes and illegal activities – after so much criminal activity that he had no time left for anything even close to governing...

    December 1, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Madrep

    All you people that blame Bush for all this should go back and review history while Billy Boy was dating Monica!!! Wow, the ignorance of this nation astounds me as well as short lived memories.

    December 1, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  20. Nevada Independant

    Funny. I thought I voted for Obama because the idea of McCain/Palin scared the be-jeepers out of me.
    Liked McCain as a viable option in the early stages. I always knew he wasn't another Bush... never was.
    But, when the moment came to make his first major decision... his running mate... McCain couldn't have shown more weakness or less integrity.
    McCain chose Palin for political expediency... he obviously thought he would be able to win over women after Hillary's defeat to Obama.
    To me, that just showed how poor McCain's judgment really was. And, frankly, I would have rather seen him choose a VP candidate with some chops who could have lent some credibility in the areas McCain was weak. Instead, he chose Sarah Palin.
    McCain looked instantly weak and silly. I knew I would vote for Obama.

    December 1, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. Chris

    I didn't vot for Obama because of W. I voted for him because he was the best available. Period.

    Don't spoil the choice we made because of your ego. The world does not revolve around you Mr Bush. You had NOTHING to do with my decision.

    Barack Obama was the best choice. You get no credit, even the bad kind.

    December 1, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. Nevada Independant

    Hey Bobbyo:
    How sick and twisted are you that you are looking forward "can't wait" until this country is attacked under Obama?

    You would sacrifice your country to see Obama ridiculed?

    Wow. You are a jerk. And, a terrible American, by the way.

    December 1, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  23. liz

    Amazing how divided this country still is.
    Want to get at the root of the problem? Pastors are preaching this right-wing garbage to its churchgoers, and the flock is following their lead. Funny how they would never admit it. Good Christians simply do not ACT or speak this way on their own. These people need to go out and HELP people and feel good about themselves instead of spewing hatred, falsehoods and predjudices. Thank God the moderates got Obama elected otherwise we would be in a heap of trouble - again.

    December 1, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. USA

    You are correct President Bush! The one good thing that comes from your presidency is the election of President Obama. Yes God works in mysterious ways!

    December 1, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. VICTOR

    Now that Bush is out, Dec 20th, do we really think that Barry Obama will keep us safe from terrorist ?? I don,t think so, even his VP mentioned that in six months of Obama,s term we will have a terrorist actack on our soil. Obama will suround himself with a staff who will tell him what to do and say, he is a good speaker and follows his script well. So far he wants to follow bill clinton years, look at the ex,.clinton people he has on his staff so far, give me a break. Bush made mistakes but at least he was his own person. This time next year we will be cussing Barry Obama for lies that he promised us such as troop withdrawals in 13 months and much higher taxes when the ecomy is down etc. PICK THEIR BRAINS BARRY because you do that well and beware of Hillary because she don,t take orders and will screw you good, she is a Pro.

    December 1, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 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