January 16th, 2009
04:03 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama says he always thought Bush was a 'good guy'

Obama sat down with CNN's John King Friday.
Obama sat down with CNN's John King Friday.

(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.”

Watch: 'We're going to have a tough year in 2009,' says Obama

“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."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. WIlly Brown

    Of course he’s a good man Obama. I hope you took notes.

    January 16, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Salt

    I totally agree. I never had any doubt in my mind that he might be a good guy. He just never ever should have been president.

    January 16, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. itbeme

    LMAO.....yeah right! bush baby was the biggest idiot we've ever had the misfortune of having in the White House.....thank GOD we'll be done with him in a few days.....AND that we don't have to put up with mcIdiot and his half baked alaskan for the next four years...

    January 16, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    If England can jail their Boy George, why can't America? Not hard to discern who the greater villain is...

    January 16, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. sammieb51

    He is being way too kind! He'll leave it to all the fray to kick Bush around and that is as it should be.

    January 16, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. tired of corporate politics

    The book Animal Farm: Once he moves to the farm house, the way things are won't seem so bad and won't really have to change much...

    January 16, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Rob from Chicago

    Another Obama flip-flop. If there was any doubt that his campaigning was "negative", just have a look at this. First we have him tell us that Clinton has no foreign policy experience, and then he appoints her Secretary of State. Next we have him tell us that Bush is dangerous, has failed policies. Now he tells us that Bush made "the best decisions that he could at times under some very difficult circumstances.” He tells us he is not going to cut taxes on corporations, now he is cutting them.

    January 16, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Sandy

    Bush is not 'a good guy'. He and Cheney both are criminals, and both should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for what they have done to this country.

    January 16, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Rob

    OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What are all of you kook, dim-witted libs gonna do now? Your chosen one, your messiah, the saviour of all your ills said that he thinks Bush is a good guy. The same Bush whom you've spent countless weeks filling these boards up with your half-witted, insane, lunatic ramblings about how Bush is a war criminal.

    What will you do?!?!?!?!?!?!? What will you do?!?!?!?!

    Wait!!! Maybe Bush and Cheney hypmotized him! Yeah, that's it!!!!!

    January 16, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. ANAG LOS ANGELES, CA

    Don't lie Obama!!

    January 16, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Blayze

    Quote: "Obama also said he thought Bush made “the best decisions that he could at times under some very difficult circumstances.” "

    The best decisions 'he could'. Obama is such a nice person to call Bush stupid in such a polite way. Unfortunately even dictators can have the best of intentions, so having good intentions doesn't let Bush off the hook.

    January 16, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Sarah, VA

    He looks presidential and on top of things.

    Kudos to Obama.

    January 16, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Amber

    hooray for frenemies!

    January 16, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. james

    As a big Obama supporter, he is starting to sound spineless.

    January 16, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Rick

    and we will give Obama the same respect and treatment that all you democrats gave Bush.

    January 16, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Edward S.

    I think Bush is a good guy. I feel that, for the most part, his intentions were honorable and he certainly meant well.

    Unfortunately Bush surrounded himself with yes-men and evil twits like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, and, well... our country swirling in the potty is the result.

    January 16, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. Jim, AZ

    I still think Obama is a 'bad guy'

    January 16, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Roderick, Va

    Finally america gets a chance at real change jan 20th will tell the tale congrats mr. president we all are rooting for u!

    January 16, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. California Gold

    It would be very unbecoming, unprofessional and utterly fruitless for the President Elect to sit there shredding the current President. For those who hadn't noticed, President Elect Obama campaigned on the current administration's policies and what he offered the voter. He did not get into personality attacks. There is a big difference.

    January 16, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. AnaB

    @ Rick "and we will give Obama the same respect and treatment that all you democrats gave Bush."
    ______________________________________

    That sounds about as good of a defense as "but mom, he hit me first!"

    BTW, this democrat respected the office of President (Bush) even though I didn't agree with him as I believe my country comes before my party, so there goes your theory of "all" democrats.

    January 16, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Peter

    Bush got bad respect for reasons which make sense. We were mad about the 2000 election, but then we found out Bush was beyond belief an idiot. If you are going to stand by Bush but not Obama, KNOWING Bush has done illegal acts, your just a moron.

    January 16, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Narang

    I hope you are not a "Good guy" like him, or we are in big trouble. I know we are all excited but I will trust O after he starts delivering on his promises. Call me skeptical but to me his just another politician with good rhetoric (and maybe noble intentions) but cannot be trusted blindly.

    January 16, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Matt

    @ rick

    Good. Since it was justified for Bush but will be unjustified for Obama (since you're doing it for no other reason than spite), you'll be ensuring our voctory in 2012.

    January 16, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. AnaB

    Rob, you are an idiot.

    January 16, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. Matt

    translatoin: I'd gladly have a beer with him, but I'd have to break the bottle over his noggin once it was finished.

    January 16, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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