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George Bush’s Final Press Conference | Last Speech as President

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George Bush’s Final Press Conference | Last Speech as President

George Bush appeared in a jovial and defiant mood in his final press conference as president. You can watch the full press conference online in the YouTube videos below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Here are the main points from the conference:

Bush “Mis-Underestimated” by Press

Bush stated that the press had often “Mis-Underestimated” him joking about the media’s obsession with ‘Bush-isms’.

He also stated he never spent much time worrying about the "loud voices" of critics and went on to say that President-elect Obama would also face "harsh" criticism as any president would.

Stimulus Plan & Bank Bailout

Bush said he supported the U.S treasury’s injection of billions of dollars into the economy to unfreeze the financial markets stating it was important to act to avert another Great Depression.

"Credit spreads are beginning to shrink, lending is just beginning to pick up," he said.

America’s Moral Standing

Bush was questioned over Obama’s aim to improve America’s moral standing. He disagreed and stated that on the whole America had a good moral standing in most of the world.

"I strongly disagree with the assessment that our moral standing has been damaged," Bush said. "It may be damaged amongst some of the elite, but people still understand America stands for freedom, that America as a country provides such great hope…"

"…You go to Africa. You ask Africans about American’s generosity and compassion. Go to India and ask about, you know, America’s — their view of America. Go to China and ask.”

“Mission Accomplished” Banner a Mistake

When asked about his biggest mistakes as president Bush discussed the “Mission Accomplished” banner that was placed on a U.S. aircraft carrier that the president landed on in 2003.

“Clearly, putting a "mission accomplished" on a (sic) aircraft carrier was a mistake. It sent the wrong message. We were trying to say something differently, but, nevertheless, it conveyed a different message. Obviously, some of my rhetoric has been a mistake,” answered Bush.

America’s Enemy

The topic of America’s enemy being out there and America’s fight for freedom was a theme regularly returned to as the president answered questions.

"It’s not a throwaway line, the stakes are high, there is an enemy that’s still out there. I’m telling you, there is an enemy that would like to attack America and Americans again. That’s the reality of the world," he said.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

George Bush has admitted being "disappointed" by the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq during his final press conference as US President.

He said that "not finding weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment."

Iraq Troop Surge

He pointed out that the troop "surge" in Iraq had been a success.

"I decided to do something about it, and to send 30,000 troops in as opposed to withdrawing."

North Korea & Iran

When asked about threats to the U.S Bush warned that North Korea and Iran were both still "dangerous”.

“North Korea’s still a problem. There is a debate in the intel community about how big a problem they are.”

“One of my concerns is that there might be a — a highly enriched uranium program. And therefore it is really important that out of the six-party talks comes a — a strong verification regime…”

“…So they’re still dangerous and Iran is still dangerous.”

Wishes Obama the Best

"I genuinely mean what I say, I wish him all the very best," President Bush said. "I consider myself fortunate to have a front row seat for what is going to be a historic moment for the country. President-elect Obama’s election speaks volumes about how far this country has come."

Started in a Recession & Ended in a Recession

When questioned over his handling of the economy he said he started in a recession and ended in a recession.

“In terms of the economy – look, I inherited a recession, I’m ending on a recession. In the meantime, there were 52 months of uninterrupted job growth.”

Tax Cuts Policy

He further defended his 2001 and 2003 tax cuts as smart economic policy.

“And I defended tax cuts when I campaigned, I helped implement tax cuts when I was president, and I will defend them after my presidency as the right course of action.”

Do You Agree with Bush?

Do you agree with the comments Bush has made in his final press conference? Leave your comment below…

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  1. papundits

    January 12, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    President Bush gave a beautiful, heartfelt speech.
    This I do know – History will vindicate President Bush.
    He had some shortcomings but he kept America Safe after 9/11/2001.

  2. Herb Harrison

    January 14, 2009 at 4:20 am

    This is unfair to our Commander-In-Chief! Where are the “planted press badge-holders” from so many past press conferences who would lob rehearsed softball questions to the Prez?

  3. Jane

    January 18, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I think the presidents speech was honest and forthcoming. He handled himself with grace and humility. I believe he has given the country his best these past 8 years and his contributions will be recognized in history. I challenge anyone who would say they could have done a better job, who has never served his country in such a capacity.

  4. sing lim

    January 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    He is the Prez and no matter what he did, he did his best and he served the nation the best he could. He admits his mistakes and he will continue to be a compassionate conservative with priority on family value and freedom. He is one of the truly “action speaks louder than words” presidents we ever had. I think the globe fear us more than ever before for a strong prez but a fair prez, not one that talks but no action. With that, USA was more respected and feared than ever before under BUSH. God bless GW Bush and Laura and GOD BLESS the USA.

  5. lobo

    January 20, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Jane says: “I challenge anyone who would say they could have done a better job, who has never served his country in such a capacity.” – PFRT, haha! all those who have served the USA in such a capacity have in fact done a better job :) Worst president ever!

  6. Robitj

    January 24, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Sorry Iobo, worst pres ever belongs to Jimmy Carter of Georgia.

  7. Chris

    November 10, 2009 at 5:50 am

    He’s just as dumb as the rest of america

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