December 1st, 2008
02:51 PM ET
6 years ago

Bush says some voters backed Obama ‘because of me’

ALT TEXT

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. No Hillary = No Obama

    Yeah think?????????????!!!

    December 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. kasera

    Mr. Bush for the first time you got that right and i wonder why it took you so long to realize that. You have the lowest job approval rating than any other president in the U.S. history dead or living.....you are leaving us a mess all over home and abroad alike...

    December 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. OBAMA MAMA

    Yeah!! Typical karl rove style politics. Play the blame game. Bush does not want to admit his incompetence. When you and your administration came out with an "Either you are with us or with them" attitude – there is little others can do to not agree with you. Thank God this cowboy mentality will be out of the White House on Jan 20, 2009.

    December 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Some voters? Try Indiana, Virginia, Nevada, Iowa, North Carolina, and other states the GOP won in 2004. President Bush's tenure will forever be remembered as eight years of disaster wrapped in misery and lies. I will be sure my newborn children know all about this failure of a man so that the record will be clear before any history book can “dull” the facts.

    December 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. ran

    I guess Bush is not as dumb as he looks and acts. Or did some one else tell him why people voted for Obama? this guy has never got it.
    Jan 20,2009 can not get here fast enough for me.

    December 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. RZA

    I ALMOST feel sorry for W-

    Then I think about the thousands of soldiers that died needlessly in Iraq, the tens of thousands of dead Iraqi citizens, and all of the people that drowned and were abandoned in New Orleans-

    Thank God that we can finally turn the page on this epic failure of an administration

    December 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Noah

    This from a well said article in Boston Herald:

    George W. Bush did not solve all the problems of the world's most troubled and dangerous region. But, for all his shortcomings, he has moved them forward and established the United States as the dominant agent for change in the Middle East. Consider the mess Obama would be inheriting in the region if the Bush administration had just sat on its thumbs-Ahmadinejad's Iran with an even further advanced nuclear arms program, an aging Saddam installing one of his psychopathic sons in power or Iraq being torn apart in a genocidal nightmare. Imagine all the regimes of the region, unchastened and unimpressed by the U.S. exercise of power, looking for any weakness or advantage to exploit and quite possibly finding it in al Qaeda and its affiliates.

    Bush has set conditions that could allow Obama, if he abandons the desire to be liked as the underlying principle of his foreign policy and sticks to the path the Bush administration has laid out, to preside over the greatest blossoming of liberal democracy and stability the Middle East has ever seen, and in all likelihood, to get the credit for it.

    For all of this, Barack Obama owes George W. Bush a tremendous debt of gratitude.

    December 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Frank the Tank

    I hope middle america is going to be happy with the change the left is about to bring over the next four years... from one extreme to the other, I can't wait...

    December 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. T

    As I teach my children, you need to learn to take responsibility for your actions.

    December 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Foxy Of Chicago

    Lets see. 8 years of grief and a recession since 2007. Plus take in the fact he's a complete moron. Yeah thats why I voted for Obama.

    December 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Ernest in MD

    Too late...

    December 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. N. S. Huntsville, Al

    BYE BUSH YOU RUINED THIS COUNTRY BYE BYE

    December 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    Project for the New American Century – that is why so many people were pushing for an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein. These folks so badly wanted Saddam removed from power that they would manipulate, lie and deceive to get it done. It's called "regime change" and it began sometime during Clinton's presidency. It's a bunch of neo-cons. Look them up – seriously.

    Involved: William Kristol, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Libby, Armitage, Bolton, Jeb Bush, Dan Quayle, McCain, Woolsey.

    Scary stuff.

    December 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. Georgia for Martin

    President Obama won because American's want change and better days in there life not because of you....I hope the republican party disappear and Sarah palin is bad news for this country.

    December 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. hilary

    I think that's the smartest thing he's said in 8 years.

    December 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. Barbara in NC

    "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."

    --------------–

    Any intelligence on your part would be an improvement. And I guess a lot of people have suffered because of you being POTUS twice.

    December 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. D. Jones

    bush is a clown!!

    December 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Tim in Seattle

    Ya think?

    December 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. BONEHEAD

    WELL TELL ME WHAT IS NEW. AT LEAST THE DUMB DUMB IS GOING AND NOT SOON ENOUGH.

    December 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Well, I never thought I'd say this, but it appears that on the topic of Obama, "Bush is right".

    December 1, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. EDDIE

    Duh! you think so

    December 1, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Eyckie

    You're kidding right? Why isn't this man being held accountable for all of his criminal acts? Why aren't they investigating him for stealing from the American people? His legacy will be his lies, his wars, his economic failure, his lack of leadership, his 'go it alone' attitude that lost America respect around the world. Criminal, crook, liar – Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Rove. Get them all into court and quit screwing around. They have to be held accountable.

    December 1, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Cathy Agu

    I have always loved this man for his honesty....

    December 1, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. Doug R.

    Lots and lots of voters voted for Obama/ Bide because of Bush. Go back to your daddy's ranch in Crawford, TX and stay there. We don't need you.

    December 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. toyosi

    Crying over spilled milk, don't you think so, Mr President?

    December 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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