December 6th, 2008
07:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Bush in Philadelphia: 'Welcome to my hanging'

 Bush got a look at a new presidential portrait Saturday.
Bush got a look at a new presidential portrait Saturday.

(CNN) - President Bush has often said he doesn’t dwell on how others view him – but he spent plenty of time Saturday taking in one conception, attending the unveiling of a presidential portrait in at a private club in Philadelphia.

"Welcome to my hanging," said Bush, to laughter from the crowd.

Watch Bush at his portrait's unveiling

Artist Mark Carder painted the portrait after taking hundreds of photos of Bush this spring. In it, Bush is standing in the White House Treaty Room, looking straight ahead.

“I was taken aback by how much gray paint you had to use,” Bush told Carder in his Saturday comments at the Union League in Philadelphia. “It speaks more about my job than yours.”

The president also compared himself to another commander-in-chief. “I found it interesting that the League was founded in 1862, to support President Lincoln in a time when his leadership was deeply controversial,” he said. “I know how he felt.”

Read why Bush faces a turbulent post-presidency


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. chris @ stl

    One quality I like in Mr. Bush .... self deprecation! Not many have this quality!

    December 6, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  2. SD

    Although I do feel that President Bush holds some responsibility for the situation we are currently in, I am absolutely sick and tired of all these Democrats blaming ONLY President Bush for the problems we're currently having. Until the Democrats gained control of Congress, the economy was fine! Once the Democrats got control, everything went to Hell! In our system of government, the President can't do anything without Congressional approval, and the Democrat-controlled Congress keeps shooting down President Bush's (and Republican Senators') ideas. We can all see where that has gotten us!

    Also, please remember that if it had not been for President Clinton, the terrorists who hijacked our airplanes on 9/11, wouldn't have even been here. Clinton was President while all of the terrorists were in the United States learning how to fly, and gaining the necessary information for their 9/11 plans. It was Clinton who was President when the U.S.S. Cole was bombed, and it was Clinton who was President when the World Trade Center was first bombed in 1993.

    It was President Clinton's lax security policies that were the genesis of our current problems. If we hadn't been attacked, we wouldn't have gone to war. If we hadn't gone to war, the economy wouldn't have tanked.

    I did not vote for Barack Obama. I did vote for John McCain. The reason is I just do not trust the Democrats, and I did not think President-Elect Obama was ready to be President, especially given current world events. That being said, I did, and still have misgivings about John McCain. I have also been given hope from some of President-Elect Obama's choices for his Cabinet, and some of his recent statements. I just really hope it isn't all smoke and mirrors. I hope and pray President-Elect Obama is able to move in to the White House and get the government to work together for the good of the people, transform our country's image in the world, and that he can get things turned around for the better.

    December 6, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  3. KCBob

    There is nothing more pathetic than an ex-president other than a whining Ex-President.

    It sickens me how he tries to suggest he worked hard as president. I think what we are going to find after he is gone is what we all knew in the back of our minds, Cheney was in charge, not Bush.

    I wish he would really see justice for betraying his oatyh of office rather than it being a joke.

    The joke is on us people.

    December 6, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  4. CC PENNES

    HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN HUNG LONG AGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 6, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  5. Tom from Wheaton, IL

    I am frankly surprised at the number of Bush supporters still on this site. I thought you would have all just gone away by now. Scared of government-provided healthcare (OK, soacialism); scared of peaceful relations with the rest of the world; scared of gay people; scared of Muslims; scared of big business not getting its way; scared of a black man; scared of honest news reporting; scared of your shadow (unless you have a gun). How can you possibly not be terrified of the INTERNET?

    December 6, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  6. Joshua College Station Texas

    'Welcome to my hanging'.

    Oh that it were...

    December 6, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  7. Tiff of lithia springs

    You sir President,

    Built the platform with the invasion of Iraq and let Cheney form the noose with the whole Halliburton messy.

    My offer still stands to help you pack your stuff and move it. How many moving trucks will you need. I will no doubt be able to recruit as much help as needed.

    December 6, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  8. Tiff of lithia springs

    Just get over it Phil. You must be crazy if you think we would let uneducated Palin go anywhere near the White house.

    December 6, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  9. combat medic, US Army

    There are quite a few things done in the Bush administration that I do not agree with, but I find it humorous when people call Republicans uninformed and make comments like:

    "The 1990's were the best years in the last 50 years when Bill Clinton was POTUS. The economy was great, we had a surplus in the coffers and now we owe trillions, are in two wars and the economy is in shambles..."

    Who's uninformed?

    The economy went to hell in 2000, when Clinton was president. Recession was declared in March 2001, only 40 days after Bush took office, recessions take more than 40 days to develop. The "surplus" everyone always talks about was a PROJECTION, based on the 1999 economy and the budget; it never actually materialized and therefore never actually existed. Gas prices? I just paid $1.79 a gallon to fill my tank; doesn't seem to be a problem right now. And this lovely houseing crisis was caused, in part, by the Clinton policy that "everyone should own a home" and regulation of loans to "high-risk" individuals should be decreased.

    Wars? At least one of these two wars, which I've seen with my own eyes, would have occurred despite who the POTUS was (Afghanistan and 9/11 should ring a bell). And history will be the judge as to whether Iraq was a huge blunder or not. Calling it a failure now shows the kind of ignorance and defeatism that liberals are supposed to deplore; this one's still too soon to call.

    Anywho, Bush wasn't a great president, but he certainly wasn't the "worst in history", and closing your eyes to basic U.S. economic and militaristic history won't change that.

    December 6, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  10. Phil Kleine

    The fact that Bush compares himself to Lincoln is a joke...I don't know anything from that long ago unless it was in a book, but i don't read anything about him being a crook, but the winners write the history books I guess....

    December 6, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  11. juryduty

    There is no doubt Mark Carder has skills. I wonder who he voted for this year though, I really do.

    December 6, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  12. fossyboots

    I am not a Republican nor a Democrat, so Bush lovers don't use that 'liberal elitist' excuse as to why I think Bush is a terrible president. This man has single handedly destroyed the strength this country once had. I voted for him in 2000, so I take the blame but c'mon, how can anyone defend him?!! He is the worst leader we've ever had, and I'm relieved his reign of terror will end soon. The fact he compared himself to Lincoln is sickening. This man is delusional, and he can barely speak English correctly. Thank god for Barack

    December 6, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. betsy

    Look – the less than 19% who like and support Bush because they only listen to Fox and Limbaugh and believe the bull about the "liberal media" (truth: the media are all in the hands of the corporations – which are far more conservative than liberal) are the rabid obnoxious ones who actually go on these listserves to stick up for him. NO ONE around the world thinks Bush was a good president except the ultra rich and those who are duped into believing Fox and Limbaugh. Everyone but that 19% (which probably equals less than 1% of 1% of the world population) knows that. I guess the other 99.9% of the world are just "unAmerican" "unbelievers."

    December 6, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  14. Tiff of lithia springs

    He's not likely to get the respect YOU think he deserves "t".

    December 6, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  15. Joshua College Station Texas

    Bush thinks his efforts compare to those of Lincoln? He is putting himself in a league with Lincoln? BUSH BELONGS IN PRISON! HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN IMPEACHED! Oh the nerve of this guy! Prison. Prison! PRISON! FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

    December 6, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  16. Jeremy OH

    I would like to thank FDR for serving 3.5 terms and the Congress of that time for noticing that one man should not be President for Life. Other wise I'm sure W. would have ran again.

    It is a tough job, not everyone should be President. Mr Bush had potential, but let the people around him influence his choices. Thank You W. for being the whipping boy and taking all this heat.

    Now for those who comment and blame the Democratic Congress for the past 2 years???? Um it will take more than 2 years to clean up 6 years of muck that the GOP Congress has created. Out of the 8 years Bush has held office SIX of them were with a Republican Congress. The past 2 years have been spent rebounding and trying to pick up the ball that was dropped. With Obama Biden in office starting 1/20/09 and the new majority in both houses, you will see a great turn around.

    December 6, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  17. lando

    Everyone look at don hays' post. Brilliant.

    "After all he has gone through…..911, Katrina, two wars, a world-wide economic depression may history show him the respect he deserves as our President"
    He has gone through so much. Born with a silver spoon, dodged the draft, got his daddy to get him into harvard. Must be tough. Im just glad he was able to repay exxon for getting him elected with this war.

    December 6, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  18. John saxch

    I still can't get why the Republican party is still in existence? Only Reagan made a positive difference in this ill founded party! They are the party who will eventually bring this country down to its knees. How pathetic! When you here those loosers screaming "Country first!" you can't help but wonder how the forefathers should feel ashame of leaving their legacy to these "locos".

    December 6, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  19. james

    Yea, he should be hanged, for treason and crimes against humanity. All of you out their that are still supporting him should get the same treatment. I'll supply the rope.

    December 6, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  20. Lisa

    Bush is the worst President in the history of this country.

    December 6, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  21. Sadam From Hell

    911 is because American place troops in Saudi and make A LOT of crazy Muslims go nuts. YOU give them a valid reason to attack, think :Why America want to place troops in other countries? Answer: It's to protect the supply of oil. That is plain stupid if you think for your country. When you want oil you buy it from open market just like all the other country are doing, let the producer provide the military support themselves, just sell them weapons.

    The reason we have war in Iraq is because the defense industry want it and lobby for it and of course we have a DUMB As?. president and a evil vice president. Well on top of that we have all those arrogant generation citizens baby boomer and gen. X that do not think for others. How many percentage of Americans support the war of Iraq in the beginning – 70+%. 7 in 10 adult support the war or have no problem with the war.

    Well, if we do not get rid of the oil dependent we WILL HAVE another 911. Imagine those crazy Muslims growing up seeing America taking advantage of their natural resources and

    1.You don't believe in their god – 2. You eat pork, have a dog (they hate dog for unknown reason, you drink wine and beer (guilt, guilt, guilt...).

    Just imagine we do not import oil from them one day with just the oil produce in America and import from Canada only.

    December 6, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  22. Brian

    From the man who campaigned:

    "I'm a uniter, not a divider" who promised to "provide leadership".

    This man, who is responsible for the economic wreck and downfall of so many innocent people shall be condemned to shame.

    History will remember George W. Bush as a disgrace. The worst president in the history of the nation.

    I pray that Barack Obama is offered a quadruple term in office of 16 consecutive years (without wasted time or money for elections) - in other words, rewrite the constitution for this one man and no one after, to 16 years in the White House as President of the United States of America.

    We need his leadership, his words of wisdom, his inspiration and his character.

    Message to Republicans: I'm afraid we will have to accept Democratic control for the next few decades.

    December 6, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  23. john

    Bush you are hardly abe lincoln. you are thee worst president in history. i dont know how you sleep at night knowing how many lives you destroyed. good riddance, time for change.

    December 6, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  24. Brady

    I'll be perfectly honest. I get really tired of all of the comments attacking President Bush. Not his policies, but President Bush himself. It really gets on my nerves. Like him or not, he is the President of the United States. That title alone deserves, and indeed, commands respect.

    I didn't vote for Barack Obama, but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and show him respect. Why? Because he is now going to be the President of the United States. So why can't fans of Obama show Bush a little respect?

    December 6, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  25. Wanderer

    It is undeniable that there were more than acceptable numbers of wrong decisions made by Bush administration in the last 8 years. Otherwise, the U.S. wouldn’t be in this current situation, but Bush is NOT the only one who is responsible for all mistakes. I think it’d be better to let go the past and get ready for the challenges ahead.

    December 6, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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