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. Euridicie

    For all the morons who constantly question Obama's rationale for choosing the brightest minds out previous administrations, imagine a four star restaraunt with a stellar reputation going bankrupt....would you not solicit the top chef to work at your new restaraunt.

    Obama sets the tone for change; the Leader, the Commander in Chief. Give the man a chance.

    BTW, where and the hell is W. He's still on the payroll.

    December 1, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Listen Up...

    Ya think?

    December 1, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    It was easier for some to vote for Obama because McCain was championing many of the same failed ideas and policies that Bush pushed through.
    So, in a way – yes. And after all, that's in great part what Obama ran against once McCain was the Rep nominee.

    But, people also saw a brilliance in him that stands regardless of the dim light that has shown on the US over the last 5 years of leadership from President Bush.

    December 1, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  4. Yeah Right!

    Yes, he's absolutely correct. I voted for Obama because the thought of voting for McCain/Palin, was a very frightening thought because they are clones of him, if not worse. Bush, are you paling around with Rush Limbaugh, sharing his little candies? What the heck is going on? I voted for Obama because of the mess that he's leaving behind. He's got the worse rating for his works as a President than any other in history, that's why I voted for Obama. And Sarah Palin, oh please don't even get me started. She leaves little to be desired. Is it January 20th yet?

    December 1, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. Anon

    Isn't that obvious already?

    December 1, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Denny

    looking forward to Bush being in his Crawford living room for the next 25 years!

    December 1, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. Big Al C.

    Guantanmo is too good for King George and his white house family.

    December 1, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    We can keep complaining about Bush pointing out his crimes or lack of intelligence – this nation elected this person not once, but twice. You can only look in the mirror when looking for the guilty. All of us have contributed to this mess and the only way to get out of it is to tighten our belts and work together for once. Bush is just a sad part of history now.

    December 1, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    WOW!!! After all this time this guy is finally figuring out that we voted against him.? That we don't like him and think he's a crook and a murderer? What a brillient deduction.... I wonder though, if Laura had to tell him so he could deduce that....

    December 1, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Jared

    Hey Bobbyo how bout let the Saudis worry about Iran since they are their sworn enemies anyways? BTW we just sold them about a zillion dollars worth of arms so should be no trouble. Why must American blood be spilled in this conflict? Do you think if we had a beef with say Canada then perhaps France or Australia should step in and straighten it out? It's asinine we are not the world police. We should let it be known if you attack us or harbor those that do we will rain hell down upon you.

    All of this about Obama is pure conjecture , nobody knows what Obama will do but lets give him a minute and at least let him take office before we either congratulate him or declare him the antichrist. I know it is hard for the republicans to have lost to this inexperienced intellectual..and gasp... a BLACK MAN at that (yes i said it) but again let him mess up or at least move into the white house before you go off the deep end...otherwise you just look a little bit (more) pathetic.

    December 1, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Capn Al

    As much as I hate what has happened to America, I can't help feel sorry for this poor helpless front man. He is no more responsible for what has happened than his press secretary. I still can't believe we elected a Bunstead and thought he would actually run the country. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Halliburton, Bechtel, and the Carlisle Group are just a few of the profiteers who filled their coffers with taxpayer dollars while privatizing everything from FEMA to the US Military. George Bush is worried about a legacy? Then he is a sorrier fool than I thought. Do not bash the idiot. It was not his fault.

    December 1, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. VICTOR

    Cnn said that Bill Clinton will take Hillary,s seat on the senate floor, BAD NEWS FOR THE INTERNS if that is true????

    December 1, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. dark days

    Ya think, cowboy? You really think so? My goodness, you're perceptive. LOL...

    December 1, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. lets be realistic

    for those comments that have stated "9/11 happened on Bush's watch..." below lets be realistic for a second

    Al qaeda was formed long before GW took office. The terror attacks on 9/11 were planned in the YEARS before GW took office, not just the few months he was in office. The great Clinton was president during that time. He didn't seem to be too concerned about it then.
    Yes 9/11 was on Bush's watch–yes Bush may have missed warnings. But Clinton missed warnings and more obvious outward signs for an entire 8 year administration (like the first attack on the WTC in 1993–doesn't get more clear than that what Al Qaeda wanted to do). What did Clinton do while he was in office, besides an intern? Nothing. So anyone that blames Bush exclusively for allowing a an organization like Al qaeda to grow from a few thousand hoodlums into the worldwide cancer that it has become, when the fact is that most of its significant development occurred prior to 2001 is ignorant.

    Something will likely happen during Obama's watch. And people will cry and blame Bush–some of it likely justified, some of it not.Bottom line is that are ALL responsible, both those on the clock, both those in the past, both those democrat and republican. Stop blaming one person–because that's about the only thing most politicians are good at

    December 1, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. VETS4Obama

    WOW! He finally said something right!! Hey George, thats what lying, shredding the Constitution, picking loyalty over competence, giving up the moral high ground when you invaded Iraq, dividing the country instead of uniting it, listening to Rove etc., etc. does!!!! What is shocking is that you still have a 25% approval rating!

    December 1, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. ED FL:

    One thing for sure we will be able to understand what Obama is saying whethere it is right or rong[ PS spelling of wrong was purposely misspelled so G W will not feel bad]

    December 1, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. Rose G. Knight

    He is not that far off from the truth... he did have it pretty tough during his time in office. But that said, it is good to see a fresh-faced inspirational new leader (Obama) come aboard.

    December 1, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. Leigh

    You know, it gets so tiring listening to you nuts say that democrats don't have any morals. What is this based on? Abortion? Abortion has been legal since 1973, do you think any Republican president really cares? They only bring this up during their campaign to get votes, then you never hear about it again. Being pro-choice does not mean that you are pro-abortion. What are the other reasons democrats are low moral? Please, someone tell me. Is it because there are a lot of white people that voted for a half-black man and this turns your stomach? Is it because Democrats take up for gays? I have been a Christian, a patriot and a Democrat for 40 years, please someone tell me why I don't have any morals. You Republicans are so gullible that is ridiculous.

    December 1, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. Sadie CA

    Noooo we didn't vote for Obama because of you, George. We voted for him because he is smart…has a vision…is honest and has integrity. BUT...after destroying our economy...alienating our partners.....and executing human rights atrocities.....ya sure made the difference really easy and clear. Adios…bye…see ya..ciao!

    December 1, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. runs4myles

    I'm in no way a Bush fan. I'm glad we are going to have a new president. But we cannot blame everything bad (i.e. the economy) completely on the President when so much is out of his control anyway. We cannot say overriding statements such as "the economy is bad because of Bush" or "9/11 happened on Bush's watch, thus it is his fault." There are SO MANY factors that goes into everything. Yes, the President could have probably done something to improve the bad situations we are in now. But we are ignorant if we use the president (whether it be Bush, Obama, or whoever) as a scapegoat to the problems America faces. There are just too many factors in our globalized world.

    December 1, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. ADAM


    December 1, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. RJB

    Hey Bobbyo...

    Iraq was stabilized before King George.......sometimes dictatorships work in certain parts of the world

    December 1, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. Kevin

    I backed Obama because of the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, John McCain and because he is very Smart. Bush was leaving the White House anyways I just did not want 4-more years of the Same OLD THING

    December 1, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. Uncle Fester

    wally December 1st, 2008 2:08 pm ET

    President Bush has been the best president in my life-time.

    Wally-I am guessing you are eight years old??

    December 1, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. memi

    As a man I really like Bush. As a president he has been terrible. Mistake #1-giving Cheney so much power!

    December 1, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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