January 4th, 2009
05:05 PM ET
6 years ago

Leading Democrat: Bush 'the worst president we've ever had'

Sen. Harry Reid, pictured here with Pres. Bush in an April 2008 file photo, stood by his persistent criticism of the 43rd president in an interview Sunday.
Sen. Harry Reid, pictured here with Pres. Bush in an April 2008 file photo, stood by his persistent criticism of the 43rd president in an interview Sunday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As the nation prepares for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, a leading Democrat is not letting up in his criticism of President George W. Bush.

“I really do believe President Bush is the worst president we’ve ever had,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Reid pointed to Bush’s failed plan to privatize the Social Security program and also said Bush “has done his very best to destroy Medicare” in order support his assessment of Bush’s presidency.

Asked by David Gregory if he had any regrets about his persistent criticism of Bush, Reid responded, “I am who I am.”

“I think you just have to call things the way you see them.”

soundoff (385 Responses)
  1. peter

    In my opinion, Harry Reid is the worst senate majority leader that this country has ever had. His comments regarding president Bush were politically motivated and showed his lack of understanding of what the country needs.

    January 4, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Keith Brown

    All I can say to Senator Harry Reid, is the pot should not call the kettle black. The track record of the Senate and the House is pathetic and given the excellent response by President Bush to the 9/11 attack shows his ability to make good decisions and act responsibility. While the Senate stands and takes a stand for an instance, they back pedal so fast they trip over themselves changing positions. The House may have more members and shorter terms but they are running in reverse. I believe George Bush did his very best to represent the views and desires of those responsible Americans who work hard each day, I cannot say the same for Congress because I am not sure who they represent except special interest groups and themselves. Wake up Congress and smell the roses and coffee.

    January 4, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. L. Barry

    There is no doubt in my mind that Bush will be considered one of the worst presidents the US has ever had. Leading up to 911 his administration ignored warnings of a terrorist attack against the US, after 911 numerous people and organizations told him Iraq was not involved in 911 and he went to war with them anyway while he should have kept our military fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan. His cronyisim led to the adminstrative failures in the aftermath of Katrina. The economic crisis that is impacting the world is the worst in most of our lifetimes. I believe the biggest problem with Bush is that he would never listen to those who did not agree with him and unfortunely he wasn't all that bright to begin with. He was only elected because of his name.

    January 4, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. trudi

    come on! Harry Reid calling George Bush the worst is so inane.
    Harry Reid is mediocre at best...............give Bush a break

    January 4, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Joanna

    First bush is the WORST that we have ever had. We get to see the manifestation of all is incompetent actions. Also Bush and Cheney were the one's that provided the info that congress got to make there decisions on for the Iraq occupation that broke our country and provided fodder for extremists. Yes the dems have been the majority the last two years but they did not have the 60 seats needed to block bush and the GOP ideologues. In most cases decisions need a 60 vote in favor. When people are polled, they are polled on the congress as a whole, not just one party.

    January 4, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. RepublicanMicky

    Hey, that'smy POTUS you're talking about!!!!!
    4 more years of GW!!!!

    January 4, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. clifford

    rush Joy: If the Arab and Muslim extremists would quit strapping c-4 to themselves and suddenly exploding everyone around the world could just live in peace and relax! Now come on when you get mad at someone have you ever felt like exploding? Literally! They need to just grab a cold beer and relax for crying out load!!

    January 4, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Joel

    Bad President, Yes! Worst president? Not even close. Jimmy Carter is the worst in my book. Most of you guys blogging are too young to remember the 70s and it was way worse back then. You think the economy is the toilet? Not even close to Jimmy's America where he envisioned us as a smaller and less important country. Thank God Reagan came along. I hope Obama can do for America what Reagan did.

    January 4, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. John in Tampa

    To this point in history Reid is correct, nobody has ever been able to trash our country and our planet so broadly and so deeply. However, at this point in time I do not see the point of going on about this. Both Democrats and Republicans have their own internal problems, and even those are nothing next to the real issues they need to be working on together.

    January 4, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Richard

    What a news story CNN! A true headline!! The worst wimp Democrat Majority leader calls Bush the worst President. This is truely earth shattering. I was unsure of what Reid thought of him until you reported it. Try this news story..."Republicans hate Reid and Pelosi", "Pelosi doesn't like Cheny" "Cowboys say Redskins are worst team ever" WOW CNN you really came up with a scoop on that one!!

    January 4, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. charles moore

    Harry, while I agree that Bush was probably one of the worst Presidents we've had, I must strongly disagree with you about his action HR6331. That bill was flawed badly, and has done great damage to the rural elderly population which depended upon PFFS. I know you think you helped the doctors, and maybe you did, but you sure hurt a lot of older people in the process.

    January 4, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. C W

    I, too, am frustrated that the Dems didn't put up more of a resistence to the Bush & Company policies. The bully tactic of calling anyone who disagreed with Bush "unpatriotic," "terrorist-sympathizers," and the like, worked on the Democratic leadership like it did on so many others (including the media).

    Time now for everyone to grow a backbone and truly put our country first. Enough of the fear-mongering, manipulation and lies.

    I'm very much looking forward to a new era of integrity in government. The American people are calling for it, and after a very long 8 years, I think we have a President who not only knows how to build consensus and treat us like adults, but who also understands how important it is to serve his nation and not just his cronies.

    January 4, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    For prisoner torture, Mr. Bush certainly qualified.

    Our fathers didn't even torture Nazis, for god's sake! What made islamic terrorists worse? This stain on America's honor will take generations to remove. The capitalists took this country into places it never should have gone. Greed took its place in our democracy and our homes, our factories and our cities. Greed and apathy will destroy this nation before militants. I'll trust a Muslim before I'll trust a CEO or any politician. THE BAILOUTS WERE WRONG! The politicians have indeed sold us out.

    January 4, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. tom

    That's okay liberals, keep piling on. Then ask us to support YOUR president.

    Just remember why Bush was elected in the first place...the impeachment of one William Jefferson Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice (in other words...not sex) and the manicial political partisianship that keep him from being removed. Bush was elected as a backlash, no different than Obama Hussein,

    You liberals are as much to blame as Bush is for the last 8 years.

    January 4, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Ken in NC

    Reid calling President Bush the worst ever is SPOT ON". While I will not argue that point, what is funny is that it is like "THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK".

    If it wasn't for politicians then comedians would not have anything to talk about.

    January 4, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. mark

    George Bush is not only the worst president the United States has ever had, he is the most destructive. He has ruined millions of peoples lives, and cost everyone (but himself & friends) trillions of dollars. He has taken the world back a hundred years with his stone age style of governing, and created more enemies of the US then any other president.

    January 4, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. tim

    Reid is so old, he might remember Andrew Johnson. If he would do his research, he would find that Johnson was a terrible president.

    Herbert Hoover/Calvin Coolridge were also not good.

    January 4, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Trout slayer

    When I clicked on this story, I thought it may be some in-depth story. Instead, its just one Senator (a Democrat, of course) saying Republican George Bush is the worst president ever. Why is this short blurb even on the webpage? Can't CNN do better.

    January 4, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Terry

    Not that I disagree with the good Senator's statements, however, when such statements come from one of the worst elected officials of our time, it does not give the statement much credibility.

    January 4, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Change - Yeah Left!

    The pot calling the kettle black. This has been the WORST Congress ever. And they decided to make things worse for the struggling President who could have done some good (maybe, if we were lucky) if Congress hadn't spit on him every chance they got.

    January 4, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    I can't imagine a worst one! Bush/Cheney really do need to be held accountable for their crimes or a precedent will be set for all future presidents that they can get away with anything!

    January 4, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. End Of An Error

    Bush is not only the worst president ever, his actions probably are treasonous.

    How many times did he stand in front of audiences and proclaim that he had absolute proof that Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire WMDs? What about his and Rice's comments about the smoking gun would be a nuclear bomb going off in the USA?

    Bush and Cheney husbanded intelligence and only presented and acted on the evidence that supported invading Iraq. In the end, all of the reasons Bush gave to invade Iraq were proven false – and admitted as false by Bush and his administration. Over 4000 Americans are now dead, we killed a leader of a country, killed hundreds of thousands of Iraq's citizens, drained our treasury, and all for what? Nothing.

    Bush needs to be investigated and held responsible. Everything from refusing to testify under oath to the 9/11 Commission to his statements to the American public in the push for war to the warrantless wiretaps and surveillance on the American public. Every lie needs to be documented and if what he did is found to have been unconstitutional, he must be held accountable.

    January 4, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Cameron

    I can't believe some of you voted for him. Twice! What's that saying? Fool me once shame one me. Fool me twice... I think this was the quote he messed up on too. With the success of the Clinton presidency, the taxpayer SHOULD have paid for that indiscretion. There was plenty in the surplus and no wars to pay for. We should at least try GW and Cheney in civil court. The American taxpayer should go for every penny they've got. Like OJ. They got away with murder. But we can at least turn Crawford ranch into an eco-friendly wilderness preserve.

    January 4, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Annie, Atlanta

    As ineffective as I think "go-along" Harry Reid may be, I certainly can't disagree with him regarding the presidency of George W. Bush. I just hope we, collectively as Americans, have learned a lesson here (probably not after all the votes McCain/Palin got), can dig ourselves out from this mess, and heal. It's a tall order, sadly.

    January 4, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. Jon

    Anyone who claims Bush is the worst president we've ever had has never opened a history book.

    January 4, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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