June 18th, 2009
08:06 PM ET
11 years ago

White House fires back at Bush comments: 'We won'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/18/art.bobushinaug0618.gi.jpg caption="The White House responded Thursday to recent comments by former President George W. Bush."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A day after former President George W. Bush seemed to criticize the Obama administration for departing from a number of his anti-terrorism policies, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fired back.

Asked about Bush's remarks during Thursday's press briefing Gibbs had a simple response. "We won," Gibbs told reporters.

In a vigorous defense of his own national security policies during a speech in Pennsylvania Wednesday, Bush appeared to take issue with the new administration's early decision to close the detention center in Guantanamo Bay and ban the use of aggressive interrogation techniques.

"I told you I'm not going to criticize my successor," Bush said, according to a report by the Washington Times. "I'll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don't believe that persuasion isn't going to work. Therapy isn't going to cause terrorists to change their mind."

Gibbs said Thursday that the American people had made their own decision about battling terror.

"I think we've had a debate about individual policies. We had that debate in particular – we kept score last November and we won," Gibbs said.

Gibbs also responded Thursday to the former president's remarks that appeared to be directed at the Obama administration's unprecedented involvement in the private sector in the middle of the financial and economic crisis that began last fall at the end of Bush's tenure.

"President Obama believes that the free market is what governs our economic principles, and looks forward to getting out of the business of being involved in banks and in auto companies," Gibbs said.

–CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney contributed to this report.

Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • President Bush • President Obama
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. IS IT 2012 YET ??

    Unfortunately for all of us, Gibbs is right – Obama won. The country is sobering up to that fact, as the unpleasant consequences of Obama's election are being felt.

    June 19, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  2. ROC

    Gibbs came across as arrogant by saying "We won"

    He should have said. - "Bush ignored millions of voices when he was in power. Let me return him the favor by not responding to his comments."


    June 19, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  3. Barb

    Bush did not take aim at obama, he took aim at his policies. The Democrates won, but the American people lost.

    June 19, 2009 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  4. toml

    "I think we've had a debate about individual policies. We had that debate in particular – we kept score last November and we won."

    Someone kindly remind that dolt Gibbs that Obama didn't run against Bush. So in terms of "individual policies," (at least compared to Bush) "you" didn't win, Gibbs. In terms of whether the American people "won," only time will tell on that.

    June 19, 2009 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  5. rich

    "We won?" what garbage. acorn won the election for this fraudulent non citiizen. the polls are already showing BO is losing his rock star status.

    June 19, 2009 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  6. Butch

    Gibb is an idiot. That sounds like the one I used to use in 3rd grade: "Oh yeah, my dad can beat up your dad!!"

    Gibb doesn't have a logical policy response to Bush so he reverts to score keeping.

    What an idiot...couldn't the Chosen One find a better mouthpiece?

    June 19, 2009 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  7. Jamey

    Funny, Obama beat Mcain... so did Bush.. whats your point.. get the facts right. Let the Bush Hating begin

    June 19, 2009 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  8. Fed Up

    Newsflash to Gibbs : The debate is not over.

    June 19, 2009 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  9. CJ Craig for WH Press Secretary

    Robert Gibbs is a DA and needs to go. He's cocky attitude is so annoying....one day he'll get his due. OBAMA needs to hire someone intelligent like CJ Craig to get his fictional agenda across to the American public in a intellectual manner.

    June 19, 2009 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  10. Rob in New York

    If we're keeping score – unemployment was supposed to be under 8% since the bailout – Obama says now we'll hit 10%. Obama promised Gitmo would be closed – with no plan in place now or then, no politician in the US is stepping up to say "I'll take them in my state." Once people took a look at the check for universal health care, even Obama's biggest supporters are getting cold feet. We'll see who the scorekeepers are in 2010 and 2012. Funny how unemployment in Obama's home state is officially over 10% and Gitmo prisoners are living it up on the beach in Bermuda – "Change" has become a joke.

    June 19, 2009 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  11. Gus The Willie

    And Chicken Little said the sky was falling! Or was it the other Chicken Little?

    June 19, 2009 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  12. Edward James

    "..We Won..", it was stupid, arrogant, inmature, & disrepectful when it was said the first time & it STILL IS....

    Our countrys biigest fear is that the idiots we replaced last election have been replaced by idiots with the same mindset, idiots only pursuing Power at all costs...

    June 19, 2009 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  13. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    I would just like to thank President Bush for reminding everyone why the Party of No" was so severely trashed in the last election.
    I hope that he keeps up regular appearances as a reminder to all Americans about his eight years of arrogance, corruption and incompetence.

    June 19, 2009 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  14. Nicole

    Yes, because looking at the nation's safety after 5 months of Obama's reign is akin to looking at Bush's 8 yrs. Give it time...Bush may have the last laugh in this matter. After all, after 9/11, under his policies there were no more terrorist attacks on American soil. Dems may have won an election, but I think it's FAR too early to claim victory on anything other than that.

    June 19, 2009 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  15. L Latchford

    Funny that this administration consistently persists in reducing this (and other issues) into a childish schoolyard boast of "we won". I can't think of a more childish and petty manner of "dissing"/ dismissing/ degrading the previous administration. "We won, we won, so we don't have to listen to you anymore!" To me, its just sad that we have to hear it from the lips the president and his representatives, come on can we grow up a little bit (or at the very least stay silent).

    June 19, 2009 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
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