tv tour

George W. Bush Starts Image Rehab

The George W. Bush Rehabilitation Tour has officially begun. The first part of an interview between the former president and Matt Lauer aired Monday on Today. In it, Bush defended his actions as president, saying "My job was to protect America, and I did." Bush also opened up about his mistakes, saying he was “sick to [his] stomach” over the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, and said the “Mission Accomplished” speech he gave in May 2003 was “no question” a mistake. “If I had to do it all over again, which you don’t get to do when you’re the president, you know, I’d have said, ‘Good going, men and women, great mission’ or something,” Bush said. When Lauer pressed Bush over whether waterboarding—one of the most controversial policies of Bush’s administration—is legal, Bush answered “because the lawyers said it was legal.” As for Bush’s oft-criticized response over Hurricane Katrina, he said it was "huge mistake" to fly over New Orleans while so much of the city was still underwater. Bush also defended to Lauer his statement that one of the lowest moments of his presidency was when Kanye West charged that the former president didn't care about black people. "I resent it, it’s not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency.”