Former U.S. President George W. Bush has used his appearance on Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday to admit he made some mistakes during his mandate, but also to promote his memoir entitled “Decision Points” that hit store shelves on Tuesday.
The former president said he bitterly regretted the fact that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. He also admitted that his response to Hurricane Katrina could have been faster and added that he should have landed in the region with Air Force One instead of merely flying over.
He also acknowledged that he could never predict the financial collapse that has devastated the economy of the planet.
Writing the book was “very easy”, Bush said. “A lot of people didn’t think I could read, much less write,” he joked.
The world is safer without Saddam Hussein, he maintained, even if the invasion that toppled the Iraqi dictator has been launched on the basis of erroneous information about the presence of weapons of mass destruction.
Bush admitted feeling “terrible” and “sickened” about that decision but added that Saddam Hussein was “equally dangerous” without weapons of mass destruction.
“My point is the world is better with him gone,” Bush said to applause from the studio audience.
The former president also complained about rapper Kanye West declaring in 2005 that “George Bush does not care about black people.”
“It really hurts,” he has said. “You can disagree with my decisions, but do not accuse me of being a racist (…). I can understand why people felt that Bush did not care, but it is disgusting to accuse me of racism. ”
“What really, really irritated,” Bush continued, “was when they said my response was slow because I was a racist.”
Bush had nothing negative to say about president Barack Obama, whom Ms. Winfrey has enthusiastically supported in 2008, adding that his successor “has his critics, he doesn’t need me opining on everything he does.”
Asked to weigh in on politics, Bush said he would not “wade back into the swamp,” and on a funny note recounted his wife Laura’s reaction after his mandate was over.
“So, I’m lying on the couch and (wife Laura) walks in and I say ‘free at last,’ and she says ‘you’re free all right, you’re free to do the dishes.’ So I say, ‘You’re talking to the former president, baby,’ and she said, ‘consider (this) your new domestic policy agenda,’” Bush said to laughter.