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:
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.
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…