Read time: 4 minutes

Dubya Has 'No Regrets' Over Decision To Invade Iraq

Bush opens up about Iraq, his brother Jeb and his dad's re-election campaign on CBS' Face The Nation.
Views:

Former President George W. Bush sat down with Bob Schieffer on CBS' "Face the Nation" today. Bush opened up about the decisions he made during his time in the White House and he doesn't sound remorseful and regretful about this:

When he decided to invade Iraq in 2003, Bush said, the stakes and the mission were completely different.

"I went in there as a result of a very changed environment because of September the 11th," he said. "And the danger we were concerned about was that the weapons...would be put into the hands of terrorist groups that would come and make the attacks of 9/11 pale in comparison."

Bush also said he was "surprised" Hussein did not believe him when he vowed to invade Iraq unless the Iraqi leader left the country and allowed international inspectors to search for weapons of mass destruction.

"When he was captured, I was told that the FBI agent that talked to him -- he said, 'I just didn't believe Bush,'" the former president said. "And it's hard for me to believe he didn't believe me."

"We'd given an ultimatum to the Taliban and delivered," Bush said. "I make the point in the book, of course, that -- and Dad understood this better than anybody -- that when you say something as president, you better mean it. Words mean something...I thought I was pretty clear at times during my presidency and meant it. Saddam Hussein didn't believe us. So I was surprised."

Bush also talked about his brother's chances of redeeming the the Bush name in 2016:

"I'd give it a toss-up," the former president told Bob Schieffer on "Face The Nation," according to a transcript.

Bush also stated that he's "all in" on helping his brother if he does make a decision to run.

"I'll do whatever he wants," Bush said. "I will be one of his strongest backers. If he wants me out there publicly, I'll be out there publicly. If he wants me behind the scenes, I'll be behind the scenes. ... I'm all in for him. He'd be a great president. And the country could use an optimistic view like his."


↓ Story continues below ↓

Other family members have previously stated that Jeb Bush is strongly considering whether to run for the nation's top office. His son, George P. Bush, said in October, "I think it's more than likely that he's giving this a serious thought in moving forward."

He also talked about his dad's re-election campaign:

George H.W. Bush seriously considered not running for re-election in 1992 even though he loved his job, according to a new book written by his son, former President George W. Bush.

A complimentary account of his dad's presidency and a glimpse into his personal life, "41: A Portrait of my Father," is scheduled to hit shelves on Tuesday, when the two will make a rare joint appearance at the elder Bush's presidential library in Texas. The Associated Press purchased an advance copy.

The book examines his father's decision to launch the first war in Iraq in 1991, his early failures in politics and his stinging defeat to Bill Clinton in 1992. It also relates personal anecdotes, including how the elder Bush struggled with the death of his daughter, Robin, of leukemia, and how he attempted to set up his namesake in the 1960s with Trisha Nixon, former President Richard Nixon's daughter.

George H.W. Bush, now 90, pondered not running for a second term because he felt his role was creating undue scrutiny of his son, Neil Bush, who was facing a federal lawsuit, according to the book.

"It killed him to see Neil singled out because he was the President's son," Bush wrote.

The elder Bush also hesitated because he had developed an irregular heartbeat and was exhausted, Bush added.

Of course Bush went on to blame this guy for his dad's loss:

Former President George W. Bush said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he thinks his father would have won reelection in 1992 if Texas billionaire Ross Perot had not entered the race and made it a three-way contest with Democrat Bill Clinton.

“I mean, it's just all conjecture, of course,” George W. Bush said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “But I think he would have won, because I think ultimately there would have been a-- you know, a clear choice between-- you know, a guy who had a very good first term and an untested governor.”

George W. Bush said that his father’s loss, despite a high favorability rating after the Gulf War, taught him a lesson about how to spend political capital – something he writes about in his new book about his father, "41: A Portrait of my Father.”

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.