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. Jeff, AL

    No, you will not be remembered as a President whom stuck by his values. But rather one that had tunnel vision and could not tackle all the problems which faced our country.

    December 1, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. Michael

    Funny how he didn't mention how he lied about intelligence to sell Americans on the war. Remember Valerie Plame, Niger and how Dick Cheney leaked her name to the press?

    December 1, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. G-baby

    1st Lady Michelle Obama, never mind what Laura Bush just said about you this morning: AMERICA WILL HAVE THE BEST 1st LADY EVER in the WHITE HOUSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Ron

    George, Get a real life. What "W" said id true. As a Bush hater, you would of voted for Hitler.

    December 1, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. TyWebb

    Goodbye, Mr. Bash...err...Bush.

    December 1, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. David Orbach, New York, NY

    He's finally right about something.

    December 1, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. gangsta g

    SMARTEST THING BUSH HAS EVER SAID TO BAD HE WASNT PRES WHEN HE SAID IT.LOL

    December 1, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. Chuck in LA

    For "the base", admitting a mistake is a sign of weakness. Does this mean that the base will now turn on Bush?

    December 1, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. obamajunkie

    somebody send in the clowns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. John

    Yes, you really screw up, you screw up in foreign policy, you screw up the economy...............that's why a black guy was elected, yes it's because you. Well it took famine in Egypt for Joseph to be elected the leader, this time it took bad economy for a black man to be elected President, but there's a a reason for everything. Am glad he won.

    December 1, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. dcoutsider

    People voted for obama cuz they are too stupid, plain and simple, he will be the worst president the world has ever seen

    December 1, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Donovan

    Yep. When the leading terrorist in the world is the "leader" of the United States, ya HAVE to vote the bum out! I voted a straight anti-Bush/anti-neocon republican ticket and I'm PROUD to do so. The United States should be led by Presidents who FOLLOW the law of the land, not DICTATORS who break every law they can in the name of "national security". What a joke!

    December 1, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Carlos Marroquin

    He must be drinking again.

    December 1, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. AmericanLove

    "IT'S MY PARTY, AND I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO...CRY IF I WAT TO...

    YOU'D DO THE SAME IF IT HAPPENNED TO YOU..."

    December 1, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Minnesotan

    Bush: "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." No, you horrible little man. We voted for Obama because you and your cronies have devastated America with your greed, your ignorance, your corruption, your cowboy mentality and your failed economic policies. We voted for an educated man who is capable of undoing all the damage and cleaning up the global mess you're leaving behind. Good riddance you worthless toad!

    December 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    So he'll (Bush will) take some credit for the first thing that has gone RIGHT in this country in years...but it is on the back of all of his bad decisions. Typical.

    December 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Bynum

    Dayum! Bush may be smarter than we all believe to have figured that out...perhaps all by himself.

    December 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Ivan

    Too late to salvage any shred of decency, chimp. Merely stating the obvious won't get you off as easily as that. Why weren't you thinking clearly back when you had the chance to be a President, not the cartoon figure and dangerous despot you have proved yourself to be. Just crawl back to Crawford and thank your lucky stars you have not, so far, been made to pay for your crimes. Your innocent act won't do now. You are responsible for too many lives lost, the American economy in the doldrums and a tarnished image of the USA worldwide. A huge mistake, that's what you are.

    December 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. James

    Eyckie You're kidding right? Why isn't this man being held accountable for all of his criminal acts? ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////Please tell me you are kidding? I'm not sure if you are stupid or crazy?

    December 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Akshar

    Gee, ya think?!?! Bush is a clown times 100

    December 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    If the rule of law is to mean ANYTHING in America, George Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest MUST be brought to trial for their criminal activities here in the U.S.....THEN send them to the Hague for war crimes trials. Saddam got hung for issuing orders that led to the deaths of 148 Iraqis......Bush's orders got 1.2 MILLION of them killed plus 4,200 of our own troops...all because of greed, ambition and bald-faced lying. Obama MUST pursue this course if America is to have any chance of regaining the world's respect.

    December 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. Shane

    IN THE EIGHT YEARS THAT HE HAS BEEN IN OFFICE, THAT IS THE FIRST THING HE HAS GOTTEN RIGHT. HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN IMPEACHED TWO YEARS AGO WHEN WE HAD THE CHANCE

    December 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Parag Chikmath

    Can't wait for Jan 20 when the idiot (Bush) finally goes back to his village (Crawford, TX).

    December 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    it is a sober statement. perhaps in the years ahead if he works hard on other issues of importance (like Carter or his own dad did) perhaps the American public will view him slightly different. it is very humbling to see this man go from the heights of the whitehouse election in 2004 to the lows of this interview. and yet democracy continues.

    December 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Politicized Economy

    Obama only politicized the economy, nothing more. He is not qualified as a commander-in-chief. Remember the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is third in line for the presidnecy, after Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, if something happens to Barack Obama, say he gets cancer because of smoking, addiction ot nicotine!

    December 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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