The Decider Returns

  • Aired:  11/11/10
  •  | Views: 217,634

George W. Bush provides fascinating hindsight on the Mission Accomplished banner, defends waterboarding and forgives Kanye West. (7:43)

[LAUGHTER]

LOOK, DO YOU HAVE A TV?

IF YOU USE IT TO WATCH YOU'VE

BEEN SEEING A LOT OF ON OLD

FAVORITE GEORGE W. BUSH IS OUT

PROMOTING HIS NEW MEMOIR TALKING

TO MATT LAUER AND OPRAH WINFREY.

SHE HAD EVERYBODY LOOK UNDER

THEIR SEATS THEY WERE ALL

DEPLOYED.

GO TO IRAQ.

YOU ARE GOING TO RAMADI.

YOU ARE GOING TO --

[LAUGHTER]

I GUESS THE BIG QUESTION IS HOW

IS TWO YEARS OF CONTEMPLATION

AND REFLECTION CHANGED OUR

FORMER PRESIDENT?

>> I POISONED DOROTHY'S GOLDFISH

BY POURING VODKA IN THE FISH

BOWL.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: THE QUESTION WAS: THE

INSPECTORS IN THE REPORT FOUND

NO WEAPONS IN IRAQ.

[LAUGHTER]

I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU GOT TO THAT

ANECDOTE.

IT'S LIKE AN OLD PAIR OF

SLIPPERS, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

LIKE A GIFT YOU DIDN'T

PARTICULARLY WANT.

WASN'T REALLY A GOOD FIT,

STARTED A WAR BETWEEN YOUR PANTS

AND YOUR SHIRT.

BUT YOU HAD THEM FOR EIGHT

YEARS.

IN BEHINDSIGHT THEY DID KEEP

YOUR FEET SLIGHTER WARMER

THAN -- I NEVER LIKED THOSE

SLIPPERS.

WE SHOULD GO OUT AND BUY HIS NEW

MEMOIR -- IF I DID IT.

IN THAT'S NOT IT.

[LAUGHTER]

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED WITH TWO

YEARS PERSPECTIVE OUT OF OFFICE.

WHAT ARE HIS FEELINGS ON THE

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

YOU HAVE TO HAVE FASCINATING

HINDSIGHT.

>> YOU STOOD UNDER THAT BANNER

WITH A STRONG MESSAGE, MISSION

ACCOMPLISHED.

>> NO QUESTION I MADE A MISTAKE.

IF I DIDN'T GET TO DO IT -- IF I

GOT TO DO IT OVER AGAIN, I WOULD

HAVE SAID GOOD GOING MEN AND

WOMEN GREAT MISSION OR SOMETHING

LIKE THAT.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: I THINK HE MIGHT BE

THE COMMANDER OF MATTHEW'S UNIT.

[LAUGHTER]

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

TWO YEARS.

THE GUY HAD TWO YEARS.

TWO YEARS -- TWO YEARS TO PONDER

A QUESTION YOU KNEW WAS GOING TO

BE ASKED AND THE BEST YOU COULD

COME UP WITH IS GOOD GOING THERE

MEN AND WOMEN.

HAPPY VETERANS DAY, WHATEVER.

INSIGHTS LIKE THAT AND OTHERS

YOU CAN FIND IN THE PRESIDENT'S

NEW MEMOIR "AMERICA: THE BOOK."

STHAT'S NOT IT.

WHY KNOW WHY THAT KEEPS

HAPPENING.

MEMOIRS ARE SELF SERVING.

YOU GET TO CREATE THE

PARAMETERS.

>> DON'T SELL YOUR SOUL FOR POLL

CONTINUES.

HAVE A SENSE OF PRINCIPLES AND

DEFEND THEM NO MATTER WHAT IT

COSTS YOU.

>> THE KEY THING WAS TO KNOW

THAT I DIDN'T COMPROMISE

PRINCIPLE.

>> Jon: REFUSAL TO COMPROMISE

PRINCIPLE THE HALLMARK OF THE

BUSH PRESIDENCY HE NEVER

COMPROMISED HIS PRINCIPLES THE

DECISION POINT HERE IS ADHERE TO

THE PHILOSOPHY AND SAY LET THEM

ALL FAIL.

>> FREE MARKET.

>> OR DO YOU TAKE TAXPAYERS

MONEY AND INJECT IT INTO THE

SYSTEM IN HOPES THAT YOU PREVENT

A DEPRESSION AND I CHOSE THE

LATTER.

>> I ABANDONED THE FREE MARKET

TO SAVE THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM.

I DID.

I DID.

>> I GUESS THE ONE PRINCIPLE YOU

KIND OF DID ABANDON WAS

CAPITALISM.

[LAUGHTER]

BUT OF COURSE WE ALL AGREE THAT

SOMETIMES PRINCIPLE TAKES A

BACKSEAT TO THE RULE OF LAW.

>> WHY IS WATERBOARDING LEGAL?

>> BECAUSE THE LAWYER SAID IT

WAS LEGAL.

USING THOSE TECHNIQUES SAVED

LIVES.

MY JOB WAS TO PROTECT AMERICA

AND I DID.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: WHY DID HE DO THAT?

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT A LEADER

DOES.

WHEN LIVES ARE IN DANGER, YOU

ASK YOUR LAWYERS TO TELL YOU

WHAT ARE THE LIMITS OF LAW TO DO

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

IT'S THE SAME THING WITH

KATRINA.

ACTUALLY REMIND ME AGAIN WHY WE

DIDN'T SEND TROOPS INTO

LOUISIANA TO SAVE AMERICAN

LIVES.

>> BY LAW THE PRESIDENT CANNOT

SEND FEDERAL TROOPS IN TO

CONDUCT LAW ENFORCEMENT WITHOUT

A DECORATION OF INSURRECTION AND

OR A REQUEST FROM THE GOVERNOR.

>> Jon: RULES ARE RULES.

[LAUGHTER]

YOUR LAWYERS ALLOWED

WATERBOARDING BUT GOING IN TO

RESCUE HURRICANE VICTIMS, WE'RE

NOT GOING THERE.

[LAUGHTER]

YOUR LAWYERS JUST LIKED SEEING

PEOPLE UNDERWATER.

WHO IS YOUR LAW FIRM JACOBY AND

AQUAMAN?

HOW LONG HAVE WE BEEN DOING THE

SHOW?

I HAVE NOT VOMITED ONCE.

[LAUGHTER]

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

I HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS IS THE

ENERGY LEVEL THAT I'M GOING TO

DO THE SHOW FROM NOW ON FOR THE

REST OF MY CAREER.

IT'S LIKE THIS.

HEY, WHAT'S UP?

PERHAPS WHAT IS MOST STRIKING IS

THAT PRESIDENT BUSH HAS ACHIEVED

AN EERIE CALM AFTER PRO--

PRESIDING OVER ONE OF TOUGHEST

PERIODS IN AMERICAN HISTORY.

>> A WEEK AFTER THE STORM HIT

NBC HELD A TELETHON ASKING FOR

HELP FOR THE VICTIMS OF KATRINA.

I TROAN DEUCED CAN YES WEST.

WERE YOU WATCHING?

>> NO.

>> DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT HE SAID?

>> I DO.

HE CALLED ME A RACIST.

IT'S IN THE TRUE AND IT'S ONE OF

THE MOST DISGUSTING MOMENTS OF

MY PRESIDENCY.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: CAN YES WEST.

CANNES YES -- KANYE WEST.

AS IN ANY RAP BATTLE THE OTHER

IS INVITED TO RESPOND.

AFTER THE BUSH INTERVIEW KANYE

GOT INTERVIEWED BY MATT LAUER.

>> I WOULD TELL GEORGE BUSH IN

MY MOMENT OF FRUSTRATION I

DIDN'T HAVE THE GROUNDS TO CALL

HIM A RACIST.

>> Jon: YOU KNOW WHAT?

WELL IN, SIR.

NICELY DONE.

I THINK IT IT WAS A REASONABLE

APOLOGY.

THE PRESIDENT HAS TO GO BACK ON

THE "TODAY" SHOW, SHOW HIM

KANYE'S APOLOGY.

>> WE AS HUMAN BEINGS DON'T

ALWAYS CHOOSE THE RIGHT WORDS.

>> HE SEEMS TO HAVE REGRET?

DOES YOUR FAITH ALLOW TO YOU

FORGIVE KANYE WEST.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

OF COURSE IT DOES.

I'M IN THE A HATER.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: I HAVE OCCASIONALLY ON

OCCASION HATED THE PLAYER BUT IT

WAS NEVER THE GAME.

NEVER THE GAME.

[LAUGHTER]

LAUER SWAWSH -- GOT SQUASHED THE

BEEF.

IF ONLY HE WAS AROUND BETWEEN

HIS FATHER'S BEEF WITH BIGGIE

SMALLS.

I'M TOLD TOLD THE C.I.A. SAYS

THERE'S NO CONNECTION WITH THE

DEATH OF BIGGIE SMALLS.

THIS IS PART OF THE TELL-ALL

MEMOIR IF I MAY --

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