January 18th, 2009
10:20 AM ET
14 years ago

Analysis: Bush has lost more domestic battles than he's won

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/18/art.bush18.gi.jpg caption="President Bush says he should have focused on immigration reform instead of Social Security reform."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - There was a candid moment in President Bush's final news conference that was largely overlooked, but should not be completely ignored because it offers a window on why his domestic legacy is looking pretty thin as he readies a farewell address on Thursday evening.

When asked to reflect on his mistakes, Bush made a rare admission. "I believe that running the Social Security idea right after the '04 elections was a mistake," he said. "I should have - should have argued for immigration reform."

Watch President Bush's final press conference

Let's take the Social Security part first, and deal with immigration in a moment.

What the president was really saying is that he - and top aides at the time like Karl Rove - made a major miscalculation immediately after the 2004 re-election, when Bush famously told reporters that he now had a lot of "political capital" to burn and he planned to spend it on a big idea like Social Security reform.

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Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Art Michaelson

    Can you just imagine the HORROR for persons depending on their 401 K retirement income would be face with if MONEY BAG Bush had been successful in converting SOCIAL SECURITY system into PRIVATE ACCOUNTS.. Their monthly income would have been decreased by 25 to 40 %.. But BUSH/CHENY (why worry?) they have more than enough money to ride out the storm. People, be careful what you wish for (ELECT) you may get what you want.

    January 18, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. Minnesotan

    Bush was brilliant to propose putting our Social Security in the hands of his cronies on Wall Street. Imagine how exponentially worse our economic status would be if he'd succeeded in his brilliance. WORST PRESIDENT EVER! Good Riddance, you incompetent crook!

    January 18, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Lamps

    At least Bush did not stood to the level of CNN and blasting it for what is obvious. CNN is liberal bias!

    January 18, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Here's the Bush summary;

    LIED about WMD
    LIED about 9/11
    LIED about Saddam Hussein
    LIED about domestic spying
    LIED about US torture prisons
    LIES about US Justice Dept.

    handed huge profits to BIG OIL, allowing them to double prices
    handed huge profits to mortgage and credit companies by limiting bankruptcy options
    allowed Blackwater carte blanche in Iraq for doing NOTHING
    allowed the US economy to tank, ignoring all the signs... and again doing NOTHING
    totally screwed up post-Katrina New Orleans, doing NOTHING

    and finally... ERODED civil liberties, ecology programs, insurance programs, and tried to get his filthy mitts on Social Security money.

    and he never gave up on his secret government CIA programs, executive privilege, etc. making him and his secret government unaccountable .... his last legacy to the American people is a filthy rule allowing doctors, nurses, pharmacists etc to NOT HELP PEOPLE if they choose not to on "moral" or "religious" grounds.....


    January 18, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Simmy

    I believe that the Obama presidency will be one that will be modeled in the future; same as his campaign. He is a gifted – Godsent, extraordinary man. The best thing to do is celebrate this blessing that has been given to us, and continue to pray for his safety a nd success.

    God bless us all!

    January 18, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |