November 28th, 2008
06:10 PM ET
9 years ago

Bush reflects on legacy: 'I'm leaving with the same set of values'


President Bush says he wants to be remembered as a president who stuck to his values. (GETTY IMAGES)

(CNN) - Reflecting on his eight-year presidency, President Bush said above all he would like to be remembered as a commander-in-chief who remained faithful to his values and "did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process."

In an interview with his younger sister, Doro Bush Koch, the president said he was forced to make several difficult choices during his tenure in the White House, but added "I darn sure wasn't going to sacrifice [my] values."

Excerpts of the interview, released by The White House [PDF]

"I came to Washington with a set of values, and I'm leaving with the same set of values," Bush told Koch in an interview taped earlier this month that aired on National Public Radio Thursday.

Bush also indicated he hopes his legacy is evaluated on success in the War in Iraq, America's efforts to combat AIDS, and the passage of Medicare legislation in 2003.

"I'd like to be a President (known) as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace; that focused on individuals rather than process; that rallied people to serve their neighbor; that led an effort to help relieve HIV/AIDS and malaria on places like the continent of Africa; that helped elderly people get prescription drugs and Medicare as a part of the basic package; that came to Washington, D.C., with a set of political statements and worked as hard as I possibly could to do what I told the American people I would do," Bush said.

In the same wide-ranging interview, Bush said it was a "fabulous experience to be president," but said he would not miss being in the daily spotlight.

"This is a job which, you know, obviously had a lot of stress to it; it has a lot of pressure," he said.

The interview was conducted for StoryCorps, a national oral history initiative.

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (743 Responses)
  1. Gottlieb Schlittenfahrt

    Hey, Bush!

    We didn't hire you to save Africa from AIDS/HIV; we hired you lead the United States of America.....and you were a miserable failure!

    November 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Ryan

    There seem to be a lot of people out there this holiday season wanting to "string up Bush for his crimes against humanity."

    I sincerely hope each of you enjoy the holidays this year—good food, family, friends, maybe some football. It's quite evident you're not willing to do a thing for what you obviously perceive as justice. If anyone should be strung up, it's you– after all, you have the moral authority to know what's clearly right and clearly wrong– you're just too much of a coward to do anything about it.

    Your role models should be people like MLK Jr, not the collaborators of WWII. Put your money where your mouth is, or keep your hate off the message boards.

    November 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Turd Blossom


    November 28, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. LM75

    Bush will go down in history as the worst president and most disliked here and overseas than any president in the last 100 years. Just my opinion.

    November 28, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Charm

    Good riddance...

    November 28, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. jjgahris

    what a prick.

    November 28, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Mike from Vancouver BC

    "I did not sell his soul... "
    Yeah, you only ruined your country's economy, put the 9/11 terrorists on the back-burner, invaded another country on "questionable" evidence etc etc, (the list is too long). Anyway, good on you George for always ignoring what really matters.

    November 28, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. larry thomas the lower right corner of nd

    An amoral individual has no values; ergo he departs DC in the near future with exactly that. Sometimes I wonder why a majority of voters were fooled the second time around!

    November 28, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. Eric from Teaneck

    It's funny this clown with give an interview to his sister... akin to the softball interviews Sara Palin got from Sean Hannity.
    You want to impress me... Sit down with a respected journalist.

    November 28, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Patrick

    Is he for real, what an idiot! Those are the last things this criminal will be remembered for! I would give anything to tell bush to his face what he will be remembered for!

    November 28, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Dorothy Jefferson

    They're ALL jealous. they can't say the same. Always try to tear down everone they don't measure up to. One thing more DECLARE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND ATONEMENT,

    November 28, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Texan1

    Impeachment would have been too good for this war criminal.

    November 28, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. arion

    I Lord how I wish he had! His values are no values of MINE!

    November 28, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. TomJoad

    He can take his "values" and.......
    He is right, they are the same now as they were then, there are few things as sickening as a stubborn, stupid person.

    November 28, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. LM75


    November 28, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Kyle

    Pretty good president... I'll miss him.

    November 28, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. suan

    He has values!! Oil! Money!! Our young soldiers for for his "Balance Sheet". Of course he has values. It's just not the same ones "We the people..." have.

    November 28, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. matthew

    Same set of values = no values

    November 28, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Dennis

    If his words about his legacy and his "values" are to be taken seriously, they are just further evidence of how out of touch George W. Bush is/has been with reality and, the American people. He needs psychiatric help.

    However, if he really believes he and his administration have not been all that bad, there will be no need for any pre-emptive pardons for the war criminals who have occupied his White House and others. Nor for the hiding of the official records of his time there – which is currently underway because of possible war crimes charges.

    The man is delusional.

    You don't have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

    November 28, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Carolyn Speer

    Values? Guantanimo Bay prison, Abu Ghraib prison, no-bid contracts, relaxed mortgage regulations, runaway health costs, ethical scandals, cuts in watchdog services: F.D.A., U.S.D.A, F.E.M.A., E.P.A., F.C.C., etc., record spending, record deficits, stemcell research. Bush has no values that anyone would honor. The only thing about Bush was that he was a good butt for jokes. Get out of town and don't come back.

    November 28, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. NYbywayof Texas

    Well Mr. President, according to your approval ratings, Americans don't agree. The truth is you should not have been elected for a second term. Here is a something that will haunt you for the rest of your life...WMD. I do hope you get a real dose of reality!!! OSTA L VISTA!!!!!!

    November 28, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. Joe Nevada

    The man is still DRUNK or on COKE again..

    I like BUSH,,,I would like to see him in handcuffs, legirons and an orange jump suit scrubbing toilets in a Federal Prison..

    JUST LEAVE NOW...don't wait until 20 January..

    November 28, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. retired patriot

    To think that my son lost his leg in the war that some of you could maintain your freedom of speech and knock down our President.
    I have some really nice words for you..

    November 28, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Cynthia in MI

    Soul?? What soul?

    November 28, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. janet, ohio

    Mr. President, thinking Americans not brain-washed by the MSM will always love you, sir. You are not perfect, nor is anyone, but you have kept us safe from our enemies for over seven years now. That peace and security will end on January 20, 2009 ; as will the America we know and love. Thank you for the time which, by the grace of God, you have given us.

    November 28, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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