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. KALA

    No you didn't sell YOUR soul. Just OUR integrity, honor, and respect around the world. What a loser.

    November 28, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Jim in Wa. State

    Yeah, gw. Take your bull headed values back to where YOU belong...Mexico.
    We don't need people like YOU giving our country away like YOU have..
    My grand children, and great grand children will be paying for YOUR spending like a drunken sailor.

    November 28, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. jay saad

    oh no Mr Bush you had sold your soul and you destroyed the world. Personally I hate you, and I am happy for the US and all the american people because they chose the best president tha I am sure will try as much as he can to clean what you will left bnehind you.

    Mr bush I KNOW THAT YOU DID WHAT YOU had WANTED TO DO I know that you are rich now and i know that no one will forgive you for what you did personally i don't want to be at your place

    November 28, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Canadian

    I can't believe he was RE-elected. Still amazes me!!!

    November 28, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Lisa

    The Medicare Part D prescription package is an absolute nightmare and Bush wants people to remember him for this?! And the disaster in Iraq? Good riddance, Bush!!

    November 28, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Edgar

    He sold his soul to corporate America. He went to Washington with the same set of beliefs he has now; they are beliefs because he has no values.

    November 28, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Dave

    Would it be too kind to say that this guy is delusional.

    November 28, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. Nicole

    President Bush, I may not agree with all the decisions you have made, but I do recognize that you are a good and decent man of honor and principle who has been very unfairly judged. I am so very sad that you have been subject to such unbridled disrespect and irrational hatred over your tenure. Thank you for your service to our country.

    November 28, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. Larry

    I will ,and half of the population will remember you for protecting our families since 9/11 in the U.S.,I wouldn't be too upset about what the other half think,they are uninformed,naive,little people that might be our demise,they don't understand that it's been the Democrats in Congress that have not been responsive to Katrina,got the government involved in banking(creating this global financial meltdown),and now they will bring both the troops home, and terrorist home to kill us here..They do all of this in total denial.

    November 28, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. Josh

    January 20, 2009 can't come soon enough!

    November 28, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Jack NC

    One needs certain intelligence and self awareness to understand or reflect and improve oneself in life. His life has been bought for him from a position of privilege and he never had to develop any of those essential qualities. You can educate the ignorant, but never argue with stupid. However, if you come across a congenital idiot, then you shoot yourself. That’s exactly what has happened to us in the last 8 years. We committed hari kari by elevating this man to the highest position in the land.

    November 28, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Leopoldo Vivaldi

    Will someone make sure that this criminal goes to jail or be execute along Cheney, Gonzales, Condi, Rummie, Wolfie man for all those lies and crimes committed against humanity?
    Will a powerful nation, maybe the European Union, Russia or even China bring those people to justice since the USA is too weak and blinded to do that?

    November 28, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. C W

    I'll be so glad when he's gone. He has done such terrible damage to our nation and our Constitution. Just because someone lies to themselves and believes they have "values", doesn't mean they do.

    November 28, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. Chuck Archer

    Bush and his values, lies, and the thousands of lives lost should lead to a court date in the international court. Bush should spent the rest of his life in prison!!!!!! The murdering bastard

    November 28, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. Jon

    Even Charles Manson thinks he did the right thing.

    November 28, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Kimba William

    Does he believe himself? Are there people who will believe all the Bush is saying about his values? Good or positive ones? Innocent Americans and British are being killed, wonderful Americans are hated all because of the 8 years of Bush presidency

    November 28, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Andrew

    Good. Riddance.

    Some set of values he has, war criminal.
    1,000,000 innocent Iraqis dead for absolutely no reason. You might not have sold it but I think we all know where it's headed.

    November 28, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Yes We Can..oh wait...WE DID!

    He did not sell his soul...he sold America's soul!! Good bye to the WORST president ever. Take your "values" with you please. Your reign of intolerance is almost over!

    November 28, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Sunset

    After work you warsh yur hands and head home for supper. Thanks cowboy, heres yur pay packet, goodbye.

    November 28, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. alvino

    Liberate 50 million? Bush's pre-emptive strike killed thousands of civilians in Iraq for no reason.

    November 28, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Paul Brewer

    Bush lives in a world of illusions. He will not be remembered the way he wants to be. He liberated no one, he "rallied" people toward divisiveness, and he is not a friend to the elderly – many of whom, are struggling far more because of Bush's bungling on almost every front of his presidency. Good riddance to the worst president in U.S. history!

    November 28, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. John

    A monstrous azzhole till the end.

    Suggested for Bush's Gravestone Marker.

    November 28, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. paul

    The Obama administration and the new Congress need to do a detailed background check on Bush and Cheney's closed-door meetings and if there was any illegal activity.........then they need to be brought on charges and face the Courts......the Bush/Cheney erea is the worst U.S. administration since the founding of this country.

    November 28, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Akoua

    Absolute. Moron. Go off into obscurity already!!! And Good Riddance, you spawn of evil!!!

    November 28, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. Cheyenne Martinez-Boyette

    You should be putting aside your 'values' and doing what's right for the American people. Obviously his values are those of a typical politician; self preservation & greed.

    November 28, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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