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. Andy

    Good riddance, this Presidant is so out of touch he has no idea of the damage and destruction he has caused to America and the world.

    People like him will soon be forgotten his name and legacy should be thrown on the Trash Bin of time and left there to rot.

    November 28, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Liya in Canada, ON

    What values!!! This idiot is a CRIMINAL, THIEF; he is the worst president in the history hands down.

    He should be ashamed of him self !!

    November 28, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. stone

    It's great to hear that being president was a positive experience for GW, and that he got through it with his values intact.

    November 28, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. S.

    He had values??? Who knew?

    November 28, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Kyle R.

    Going to be remembered as our WORST President.........and rightly so!

    November 28, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Laura

    Narrow-minded and divisive, he tried to turn this country into a Christian version of the Taliban's government. Sure, leaving with the same values he came in with. What a sad thing to say.

    November 28, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. KAYLA

    Still the idiot!

    November 28, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Spock

    What soul? Did he ever have one to sell?

    And why don't we all send him some pretzels?

    November 28, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Richie Dowdy

    The only smart thing he could do is resign today. But this cracker head may get something started before leaves office. We still have 40 or 50 days left of George W Bush. The American people have had all of the Strutting, Bragging Ego!!!!!

    November 28, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Cholman

    Since the interviewer was his sister, I'm sure Dubya was asked the tough questions. I agree with barbara in nc, he should be charged and convicted for what he and his cronies have done to this country. What Bu_ _ sh_ _!

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

    leaving "with the same set of values"? That's too bad. You'd think he would have learned a thing or two from his reign of economic terror.

    November 28, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Ricky

    Good riddens to bad rubbish. Values? More like delusions of grandeur.

    November 28, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Anthony Smith

    Values? These Republicans make me sick. They call them values but really want to say that they are morally superior to others! Values? They are against abortion which is an unborn child, but for the death penalty. They promote the NRA and guns. They love war! They are hypocrits. George Bush should be tried and convicted. The fact that this fellow Christian DOES NOT see his mistakes and sins makes me doubt the God that he serves.

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    November 28, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. Joe American

    Three times I have tried to post my Pro-Bush comment with no objectionable language, yet you will not post. What are you some high school intern who thinks they are more important than free speech.

    November 28, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Raul Perez

    I think President Bush's legacy is the proof of the lack of judgment of the American voter in 2000 and 2004. He has undone this country in ways that we will have to live with for the rest of our lives.
    I hope God will remain in the church and out of the voting booth in all future elections. Voters need to realize that we need to focus on logic and reason when choosing our leaders and we need to compare what they did with what they promised before re-electing them.

    November 28, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Morgan

    Values? All George had was bad values. Go snort your cocaine!

    November 28, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Ron

    Of course he didn't sell his can't sell what you don't have.

    November 28, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. judy d

    What values, Bush and Cheney should resign now. He really believes his own b.s.

    November 28, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. Ally

    What values he and the current adminstration only pu themsleves first and not this country and that is why we are in the situation we are in now it is all about and creed and I hope the people realize he was not qualified to run this country. He cannot leave office soon enough.

    November 28, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Zane

    The worlds stupidest man.

    November 28, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Matt

    That's because Bush sold his soul long before he stole the Presidency.

    November 28, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Dennis

    Thankfully, the sister didn't ask him what his values were. Poor son of a gun wouldn't have known. Bless his heart!

    November 28, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Time is now

    Thou shalt not bear false witness – lying led to the "war" in Iraq

    Thou shalt not steal – $10 billion a week from American taxpayers

    Thou shalt not kill – 4,200+ troops, more than people who died in 9/11 and osama bin laden is still out there, not to mention the thousands of Iraqis, who have been killed, maimed and lives destroyed. Do they feel liberated?

    Shall we go on...

    What values exactly?

    Mission NOT Accomplished

    November 28, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Maggie SC

    Barbara the only way you can see is first you get the log out of your owna eye. Oan old Indian saying goes like this: do not critize your neighbot until you have walked a mile in his moccasins. It is difficult to see his vales if you don;t understand the word. No one knows all the details behind his actions. Doing research into his actions and sppeches will help, that is if one can comprehend what tyey read. But then there are a lot of uneducated people on the internet's blogs.

    November 28, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. John

    The only "values" that the liberal left understands is undermining families, honoring criminals (such as Obama), and letting terrorists run amok. They also value lies, such as the ones spread about Bush for the last 8 years. To quote the liberal lost the last two elections, just get over it. You should have gotten on board and supported the president for the past 8 years instead of peddling lies about him. Of course, now the liberal left is trying to persuade the conservative right to get on board and support the president elect. Can you say hypocrite? Thy name is liberal!

    November 28, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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