(CNN) - After two years of traveling around the country criticizing President Bush, President-elect Barack Obama said Friday that he “always thought [Bush] was a good guy.”
“I mean, I think personally he is a good man who loves his family and loves his country,” Obama said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s John King.
During the election season, Obama frequently campaigned against what he called Bush's "failed policies" and promised a “clean break” from the past eight years.
Asked if there was anything he wanted to take back, now that he has spent more time with the president, Obama praised Bush’s team for helping with a smooth transition and said part of what America is about is being able to have “disagreements politically and yet treat each other civilly.”
Obama also said he thought Bush made “the best decisions that he could at times under some very difficult circumstances.”
“That does not detract from my assessment that over the last several years we have made a series of bad choices and we are now going to be inheriting the consequences of a lot of those bad choices,” Obama said.
In addition to his relationship with Bush, Obama also discussed some key issues that he will face in the first days of his administration, including national security and the economy.
Obama sat down with King following a factory tour in Bedford Heights, Ohio.
The interview will air in full Friday at 6 pm on "The Situation Room."