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. Doug-ABQ

    He is one of the MANY reasons why Obama is our President-elect. His type of politics is no longer acceptable to us.

    December 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. CJ

    I didnt vote for Obama but dont like Bush. Soon people will realize they are one in the same. Spend spend spend. Obama will not raise taxes or even repeal the richest tax cuts. He is surrounding himself with Washington insiders and lobbyists. And all you lefty wackos believed his change. You all should not be able to vote ever. Go to California, start your own country, be in debt to all the illegals, and not be able to defend our new CommyCountry.

    December 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. ldsb33

    Alot can be said about Bush but most of the ones saying it thinks there will be more free programs available for those that do not work in the country. One day you idiots will realize the dems run the country for the past several years, Bush was a figure head and most think the CLintons were so great but how was the economy when Bush took office? All should remember the first stimulus check Bush gave to stimulate the economy. It was failing when he took over. And if the CLINTONS WOULD HAVE TOOK CARE OF THE TERROSIT THE FIRST TIME THEY BOMBED US WE WOULD HAVE NEVER HAD A 911. WAKE UP FOLKS

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

    Barack Obama = President Elect.
    W = President Inept.

    December 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Dee Tee Gee

    Of course Bush is not going to answer if he would've declared war on Iraq if he knew they didn't have WMD's. The WMD's were never the reason. This war is about OIL & nothing else. Our brave young women & men are at war because of greed of our President. Let us not forget George Bush is an oilman by trade. My staunch opposition to this war is the main reason I voted for Obama. He'll be able to end this pointless war quicker than he can turn around this mess of an economy.

    December 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Keep spewing your evil righties. We won you lost get over it! You think it's going to be only 4 years...try 40 years of superior reign of Democrats. Ha, ha, na, na na, na!

    December 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. G-baby

    I rather have a HARVARD & PRINCTON GRADUATE president than a DUMB C+ president like George W.

    Does anyone know what kind of DEGREE Laura Bush has!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I BET NONE SHE'S JUST A HOMEMAKER...............................

    December 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Theodore Bloat

    "They decided they wanted him in their living room the next four years explaining policy."
    No, that's how you view the presidency, GW. We voted for Obama for imagination, fresh ideas, change in Washington and, most of all, something you don't have a grasp of at all: leadership.

    December 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Mary

    I'm a republican that voted for obama because of palin

    December 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Bushed

    dah!!!! the brilliance of W is just amazing.

    December 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Speider

    GW will enter the history books, printing the legend and not the reality. One day he will be laid to rest, under a marble stone, left as the marker of where he lay, buried in a raincoat due to all the people that lived through his reign and will be urinating on his grave.

    December 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. Lucie


    December 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. arc, Lugano CH

    Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Rice should be sent to The Hague to be charged with Inciting Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.

    Much like many of the Nazi high command at the Nuremberg trials after WWII, these 'Republicans' should be used as an example for future generations which states that war criminals will always pay for their crimes.

    December 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Anonymous


    This just proves that Bush still has a few operating brain cells.

    December 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. dave

    You're also the reason I voted for Kerry, you absolute idiot.

    Go back to Crawford and disappear. Forever.

    December 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Consuela

    Of course he wouldn't say, it was his first objective when he won the presidency: Invade Irak.

    December 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Ron G

    Mr. Bush, I believe when you ran for office your intentions were pure. I will take character over experience every time. Sir, character matters at the top.
    I don't believe that God is impressed with our "Bravado"
    Your mission have been accomplished.

    December 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Well...Duh! But it's more than just him (though he's so dumb he'd like it to be all about him), it's about the Repub's insistence on Americans to be Jesus Freaks.

    December 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Tim

    First he admits to being "unprepared for war."

    Now he finally figures out he's the reason the republicans are going down.

    Thank God he's gone 1/20/09!

    December 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. Independent Voter

    I tell ya, King George is at it again. People voted for Obama because he is the right man for the job.

    December 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. Dave

    As usual now the grown ups have to come in and clean up Little Bushie's mess. He *should* have a deep sense of shame for where he has taken this country, but unfortunately his smug little smirk and limited worldview will prevent that...

    December 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. beevee

    I hope he is being and honest and truthful to the amrican public at this point in his presidency.

    December 1, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Hugh

    You got THAT right Georgy boy ! 🙂

    December 1, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Torin for Lawrenceville Ga

    This is Bushspeak deja vu. Bush operates continuously in a campaign mode and never admits any mistakes. He lives in a delusion that somehow historians will view his Presidency favorably and give him high marks for his self-fullfilling accomplishments. Of course, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of us all of the time W.

    December 1, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Mike

    I think its important that we let Bush go now and we talk about how we will fix our country. We need to focus on how we can help President Elect Barrack Obama fix the mess that Bush created.

    Moreover, i think we need to bring the culprits of this devastation to justice which includes President Bush as well.

    One last thing, why wouldn't someone go after the CIA guys who actually provided this false Intel about Iraq??

    December 1, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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