The outgoing President talks about his regrets in interview with CNN. Read the complete Transcript. Excerpt below:
President Bush: Being the commander in chief is as high an honor as you can possibly imagine and I have given it my all to support our military and to support our veterans. What does that mean? It means going to Congress and saying let's make sure our military families have good housing, health care, educational benefits. It means helping to work with the Congress to get money for our veterans, but it really means saying to our troops, "I will make decisions based on what is best for our country, not what is best for me politically." I don't want your troops thinking that the decisions I have made were about politics or about my standing. The decisions were made how to secure this country, how to protect ourselves from the long run. And that was important for those troops to know that their commander in chief not only supported them but stood with them in their mission
CNN: As you stand with them in their mission there are two months left of your presidency. How will that feel to leave office in the middle of two wars? Video Watch Bush discuss his regrets »
Bush: I'm trying to figure it out because there's a lot going on. We've got an economic situation, the campaign just ended, we still have troops in harm's way. I'll be meeting with families of the fallen today. This job will end on January 20 and so this is a better question answered on the 21st. I'm not sure what to tell you because I know I'm going to go from 100 mph to near zero overnight. I'm not sure what to expect. I know I'll miss certain things about the presidency. I also know I'm looking forward to getting home, so I've got mixed emotions.
CNN: What will you tell -- and maybe you talked about this yesterday with President-elect Obama -- about taking care of America's veterans and active servicemen and women?
Bush: To the extent that he asked my advice -- and he may want to ask it again -- and the best way to make sure he feels comfortable asking it again is for me not to tell you in the first place on what I advised him. We had a very private conversation. It was relaxed. It was interesting to watch someone that is getting ready to assume the office of the president. It will be a fantastic experience for he and his family. He didn't need my advice about supporting the military. He knows he must do that. We had a good conversation. I was very pleased. Remember the conversation I had with my predecessor Bill Clinton, as a matter of fact called him yesterday and said, Bill, I'm getting ready to meet with the new president and I remember how gracious you were to me. I hope I can be as gracious to President-elect Obama as you were to me. It was interesting yesterday. One of the things President-elect Obama was interested in, after we had our policy discussions, was his little girls, how would they like the White House. It was interesting to watch him go upstairs. He wanted to see where his little girls were going to sleep. Clearly this guy is going to bring a sense of family to the White House and I hope Laura and I did the same thing, but I believe he will and I know his girls are on his mind and he wants to make sure that first and foremost he is a good dad. And I think that's going to be an important part of his presidency.