January 15th, 2009
10:05 AM ET
9 years ago

Bush to make last public appearance as president

Pres. Bush will make a prime-time address to the nation on Thursday night.

Pres. Bush will make a prime-time address to the nation on Thursday night.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - George W. Bush will make his last public appearance as president Thursday in a prime-time television speech, his spokeswoman said.

Related video: Watch Bush's final press conference

The president's address, slated to run between 10 and 15 minutes, will be delivered at 8 p.m. in front of an invited audience with "stories to tell," according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

The presidential farewell address is a tradition dating back to George Washington's departure from office in 1797. Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, Carter and Clinton - among others - all delivered farewell speeches.

Bush leaves office with about one in four Americans approving of the job he is doing. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll taken Dec. 19-21 found 27 percent approved of his performance, while 72 percent disapproved. Just over one in four rated him the worst president ever. Another 40 percent rated him "poor," while 31 percent rated him a "good" president. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three points.

Bush brushed off the low opinion-ratings and declining polls when he spoke to CNN's Larry King on Tuesday.

"Look, opinion polls are nothing but a shot of yesterday's news," he said. "Opinion polls aren't going to be high when the economy is in the tank. People aren't happy with the economy. Neither am I. But you can't make decisions based on popularity polls."

The outgoing president offered a self-assessment of his leadership in national security post-9/11.

"I told the American people I wouldn't tire and I wouldn't falter, and I
haven't," Bush said.

Bush is planning to spend the weekend at Camp David, the presidential retreat, Perino said, before his term ends at noon of Tuesday with the swearing-in of Barack Obama as the country's 44th president.

soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. vahe

    leave pleae leave please.... you have destroyed toooooooooo many lives around the world......... you and your friends......

    January 15, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Mike in Philly


    January 15, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Alex

    Alan- No where did I say that this was my favorite president ever, and unlike you I have respect for this man, he was the president of our country,I will have respect for Obama too, though I may not like him. Take the time to realize how hard of a job this is, not one person posting on this board can realize what that is like, to serve in his position.

    And lack of inteligence, I could argue that point for just about anyone, including you, and all the other small minded democrats on this board. This man wanted to protect our country and wanted to serve it the best he could, and he worked hard to make it better, the sad truth is he had the unfortunate attacks of 9/11 (thanks clinton for the lazy attempts to control terrorism during your term), the unforutnate housing crisis (thanks again clinton for teaching ppl to buy more than they can afford, debt is ok!, as long as america is spending and doing well, b/c the dollar wont weaken over time!), and finally a major hurricane. The last time i checked too, humans dont control hurricanes, or decide where they hit. Seriously democrats talk about how hateful republicans are, but honestly we just see what needs to be done and take care of it, and actually use our minds to think, and keep the safety of our country and selves first and worry about political correctness last.

    Here is the final point to make, people who like bush are not going to change their minds now, and people who hate bush are not changing our minds. All i posted earlier is how i look forward to the speech and am worried about obamas plans, take whatever else you want out of it, cause im sure that makes me a racist according to half the people here.

    January 15, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Veronica


    Move over Bush,the man with the brains and the vision is moving in!!!

    January 15, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Tim

    Thank you President Bush....you had your good times and most importantly you stuck to your principles during the bad times. Very honorable sir and than you for your service. May God now protect us and guide our new incoming President.

    January 15, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. Billy

    Good riddance. I've heard enough from him the last 8 – there's nothing he has left to say that interests me.

    January 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Lori

    Thank you Bush for nothing but the world hating us.

    Hurry up President Obama so we can restore our respect in the world again.

    January 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Archie in Utah

    Antoine, I love Ugly Betty! 🙂
    Wait, why was I here again?... oh yeah, Bush is leaving....

    So about Ugly Betty

    January 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Jason

    It is easy for the less intelligent and ignorant individuals of our society to blame one man for everything that goes wrong because it is easier and doesn’t actually take any thought. The real problem is that our government is made up of politicians who could care less about the average person until election time. Democrats and Republicans are all the same and every one of them should be blamed for the failures that have occurred. I mean really . . . . hasn’t the Democrats been in control of Congress for the past two years and made big promises that they did not keep. Obama will be no different and if you believe he will then I have some ocean front property in Tennessee to sell you. George Bush was not a great president by any means but many of the problems we are facing were caused both by Democrats(especially the likes of Barney Franks) and Republicans but unfortunately too many people are too ignorant to see past party lines and spout the usual rhetoric.

    Of course it is always easier when you are sitting at home on the internet and can complain but really . . . would you do any better? Considering the lack of intelligence in some of these rants it would be safe to say that Bush has a better IQ than some of you and that is not saying much. Real change isn’t coming . . . just another face to figure out how to screw us over even more.

    January 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. knowlege

    Now we have a President after 8 years!!! yeah.

    January 15, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. ConsiderThis, FL

    It's really sad what has happened to the US of A. In 8 short years, we've almost become 3rd worldly. Greed and unrestrained abuse of power were the hallmarks of Bush's presidency. There was a time when we could look to government to right wrongs, enforce justice and punish wrongdoers. With Bush as president and Cheney as VP, our government has been the perpetraitor of wrong, enforced injustice and rewarded wrongdoers. People, our suffering is nowhere near over. Ironically, Bush and Cheney won't participate in suffering with us.

    January 15, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Thank you GOD

    I am very grateful for his departure and pray to never hear or see him again.

    January 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Bye Bye Bush thanks for nothing worst President Ever
    That is music to my ears I have been waiting for Jan 20 09 since NOV4 04, Its finally here wahoo yippie yahoo yah yah yah!!!!

    January 15, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Angie in Pa

    Bye Bye Bush thanks for nothing worst President Ever
    That is music to my ears I have been waiting for Jan 20 09 since NOV4 04, Its finally here wahoo yippie yahoo yah yah yah!!!!

    January 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. Aaron

    President Bush will always be my favorite president.

    January 15, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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