Bush: 'I'm sure some people voted for Obama because of me'
In an interview to be broadcast on ABC News tonight, President Bush conceded that he just might have been part of the reason Barack Obama won the White House.
"I think it was a repudiation of Republicans," he said. "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me. I think most people voted for Barack Obama because they decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy."
He apologized for the economic crisis, saying, "I'm sorry it's happening, of course... Obviously I don't like the idea of people losing jobs, or being worried about their 401(k)s. On the other hand, the American people got to know that we will safeguard the system. I mean, we're in. And if we need to be in more, we will."
He also admitted he was "unprepared" for a war in Iraq that has gone on to claim thousands of American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqis.
"I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess," Bush tells ABC's Charlie Gibson in an interview to be broadcast tonight, and said he didn't know if he'd have gone to war if he didn't think there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
"That is a do-over that I can't do," Bush said.
He said incorrect intelligence about Saddam Hussein's arsenal was the "biggest regret of all the presidency."
"I think I was unprepared for war," Bush remarked. "In other words, I didn't campaign and say, 'Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack,'" he said. "In other words, I didn't anticipate war. Presidents -- one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen."
But also he tried to spread the blame -- and his credulity -- for bad intelligence on others.
"A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein," Bush said. "It wasn't just people in my administration. A lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington, D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence."
"I listened to a lot of voices, but ultimately, I listened to this voice: I'm not going to let your son die in vain," he said. "I believe we can win. I'm going to do what it takes to win in Iraq."
In the interview, Bush also defended his administration's response to a now paralyzing economic crisis spurned by the failure of the US credit markets.
"When you have the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Fed say, 'If we don't act boldly, we could be in a depression greater than the Great Depression,' that's an 'uh-oh' moment," he said.
This video is from ABC's Good Morning America, broadcast Dec. 1, 2008.
Download video via RawReplay.com