December 1st, 2008
02:51 PM ET
10 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. bailey

    Why is it impossible for republicans to grasp that we didn't vote Obama into office because we like the way he talks, or because "we hate replublicans".

    We voted into office the only person who instilled confidence that he would *stop running roughshod over the constitution*, seizing executive power, blatantly lying to the public, instilling a theocratic national agenda, and promoting the end-justify-every-nasty-means mentality that disillusioned so many people in the past decade.

    Yes he won votes because of you Bush, but not for the reasons you think.

    December 1, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. ex-pat

    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 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Kentucky

    Obama received votes because McCain and Palin supported Bush's policies, not just because of Bush.

    December 1, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Jim Hall

    Talk about a village idiot Bush and his cronies are all village idiots. They all needs to be impeached then imprisoned like any other person in this country if they did wrong. No one should be above the law. The republican party needs to middle itself on social issues before my family and I vote for them again ie abortion, separation of church and state, gay and lesbian rights, and the list goes on and on Jim Hall Kansas City Missouri.

    December 1, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Rudy

    Mr. President, duh!!

    December 1, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. David

    Yep he's so right for the first time because we the people seen in John McCain was just more of the same, and another reason this man looks and talks like a President we all can be proud of.

    December 1, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Gerda Edwards

    Pretty amazing that the VAST majority of people here are actually admitting that Obama didn't win on his own merits, but that it had to do with Bush. Wow.

    Par for the course - the left places Party above country. Just ask Clinton and Biden why they thought Obama wasn't qualified to be the President, until he received the Democrat Party nomination.

    December 1, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Sonya

    Stuck to his values?!?! WHAT VALUES?

    December 1, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Alaska Blue

    And to think that some voted for him twice ~ which says a great deal about the overall American intellect. Dubya has been bt far the worst EVER, IMHO.

    Praise God for this nation's redemption...and hopefully it is not too late!

    YES WE DID...and if I had to thank Bush for anything at all, our new President Elect would certainly be it.

    December 1, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. David Jacobson, New York NY

    This guy's been in office for 8 years, yet is blaming the current economic crisis on Bill Clinton?

    Take him back, Texas- he's your problem now.

    December 1, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Mickie

    Bush is bashing himself, what an idiot. He is actually proud that he caused people to vote for Obama! LOL, LOL, LOL. If you go moose hunting, don't take Cheney!

    December 1, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. M.B.

    Bush is still in denial.....a state of mind he had during his whole presidency...He and his father were able to screw up this great country, and they are still ....that's the BUSH LEGACY

    December 1, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Jessica Grimes

    I for one, believe that President Bush did the best he could with what he had.

    I believe that Obama will see things a lot differently once he see's all the intel that President Bush has been privy too.

    Most Americans are dumb when it comes to politics and world affairs .. we take our ques from the political


    Most people on here sound like liberal talking heads ... sad... very sad...

    Republican Social Worker!

    December 1, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Lost in Texas

    President Bush may be right on part of this, but I think MORE people didn't want the likes of Sarah Palin anywhere NEAR the White House and a lot are tired of the divisive politics that the Limbaugh lovers and neo-cons have pushed on our nation the past 8 years. People tend to forget that right after 911, President Bush had very high ratings and the nation was united for a common cause and it took a tragic situation for that to happen. I feel it was more of the GOP and their policies that people were tired of and I really feel incertain cases Bush was more of a scapegoat than anything else. It's like the old saying about a president, sometimes he gets TOO much credit when things are going right and TOO much blame when things are going wrong.

    December 1, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. Spent Capital

    I recall Bush saying that he learned one thing from his father that he was not going to allow to repeat – His father left office without spending the "political capital" he had earned.

    Well, George W is right. He spent it all... and that of the next administration as well, leaving such a deficit that the R's lost the Presidential seat.

    George W sees out of touch and maybe has been away from the public for too long. In this case, two 4 year terms were too much. Maybe we should change the constitution to 6 year terms and limit it to one.

    Others thoughts on this term change and limit matter?

    Others thoughts on this term change and limit matter?

    December 1, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. AEK


    Just checked out the Project for the New American Century website. OMG, you are kidding me! Just one more reason to have the Republicans out for eight years. Maybe reason will return to our foreign policy before those clowns get back into office.

    Thanks for the heads up!

    December 1, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Robin in SC

    The frightening thing here is that Bush still believes that he did the right things. Now I'm not naive enough to believe that Presidents, all of them, don't have to make unpopular decisions or that they don't make mistakes...they all do. However, its the results of their decisions and mistakes that gauge their effectiveness. The tabloids are screaming that Bush just "doesn't understand" why he's so unpopular when he's "tried his best", which I believe may be true like the Edwards scandal was. Sad really...probably a nice guy who would be the fun uncle at Thanksgiving...just over his head and too arrogant to admit it. Unfortunately, America suffered. If Obama got votes because of Bush, and no doubt he did, then this will be the ONLY positive legacy of the Bush administration.

    December 1, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Rob

    At least all of your mistakes had some upside in the long run.

    December 1, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. good Karma

    The buck stopped on his desk for 8 years.

    I voted for him twice as I believed he would keep us safe from radical muslims. That he succeeded partially. Remember, it takes courage to do what he did, and he should have stayed in Afganistan.

    However, he destroyed the US economy by not stopping the criminal practices adopted by US banking system on home mortgages. Freddy Mac and Fanny May should have been stopped in their tracks. No excuses, man.

    December 1, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. Andy expat in DR

    a nice, sophisticated analysis by a top-notch thinker. Great job, Mr. President/Homecoming King/Emperor in New Clothes. Not get out of the way (with all due respect) so we can spend the next 25 years cleaning up your mess.

    December 1, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. lois

    What an idiot. He just admitted to the whole world that because of his crimes and high treason, that Obama won the election...well- guess what? He's right !! hahah !!! What an idot !

    Start packing george....and don't let the door hit you on the way out !

    December 1, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. RG

    I pray that our next President manages to keep this country safe and free 50 million people from tyranny just like GWB.

    December 1, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. GetLost

    Where have you been for last eight years to speak out now.

    December 1, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Gen Patton

    God Bless you President Bush. You will be sorely missed, by all, when the Obama recession kicks in full swing.

    December 1, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. ryan blevins

    What do you mean if the Intelligence was different, the Intelligence was doctered, there never was any yellow cake going to Iraq, they knew that, they knew they had no real reason to invade Iraq, and your trying to give him an out by asking What If? What If Bush had a brain. What if Cheney had a soul? What If runesfield had a concience.

    December 1, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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