Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

BREAKING RANKS: Bush: Kanye Comment a 'Disgusting' Moment as President BREAKING RANKS: Bush: Kanye Comment a 'Disgusting' Moment as President

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member or subscriber? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

BREAKING RANKS: Bush: Kanye Comment a 'Disgusting' Moment as President

Whatever your view of him, former President George W. Bush had some rough moments in the White House. Oh, there was 9/11, the Iraq invasion and ensuing chaos, Hurricane Katrina, the collapse of Lehman Brothers. And there was of course, rapper Kanye West's extemporaneous comment in an on-air fundraiser for Katrina victims that Bush "doesn't care about black people." It's this last one that has really stuck in Bush's craw.

In an interview with Matt Lauer of NBC, the 42nd president still sounded stung. Here's the exchange:
MATT LAUER:
About a week after the storm hit NBC aired a telethon asking for help for the victims of Katrina. We had celebrities coming in to ask for money. And I remember it vividly because I hosted it. And at one part of the evening I introduced Kanye West. Were you watching?

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:
Nope.

MATT LAUER:
You remember what he said?

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:

Yes, I do. He called me a racist.

MATT LAUER:
Well, what he said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:
That's - "he's a racist." And I didn't appreciate it then. I don't appreciate it now. It's one thing to say, "I don't appreciate the way he's handled his business." It's another thing to say, "This man's a racist." I resent it, it's not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency.

MATT LAUER:
This from the book. "Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust." You go on. "I faced a lot of criticism as President. I didn't like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all time low."

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:
Yeah. I still feel that way as you read those words. I felt ‘em when I heard ‘em, felt ‘em when I wrote ‘em and I felt ‘em when I'm listening to ‘em.

MATT LAUER:
You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your Presidency?

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:
Yes. My record was strong I felt when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And– it was a disgusting moment.

MATT LAUER:
I wonder if some people are going to read that, now that you've written it, and they might give you some heat for that. And the reason is this–

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:
Don't care.

MATT LAUER:
Well, here's the reason. You're not saying that the worst moment in your Presidency was watching the misery in Louisiana. You're saying it was when someone insulted you because of that.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:
No - that– and I also make it clear that the misery in Louisiana affected me deeply as well. There's a lot of tough moments in the book. And it was a disgusting moment, pure and simple.

    Comments
    comments powered by Disqus
     
    MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL