Q: ...I'm just wondering, as you look back, why you think you engendered such passionate criticism, animosity, and do you have any message specifically to those -- to that particular part of the spectrum of your critics?
A: ...You know, Presidents can try to avoid hard decisions and therefore avoid controversy. That's just not my nature. I'm the kind of person that, you know, is willing to take on hard tasks, and in times of war people get emotional; I understand that. Never really, you know, spent that much time, frankly, worrying about the loud voices. I of course hear them, but they didn't affect my policy, nor did they affect -- affect how I made decisions.
You know, the -- President-Elect Obama will find this, too. He'll get in the Oval Office and there will be a lot of people that are real critical and harsh, and he'll be disappointed at times by the tone of the rhetoric. And he's going to have to do what he thinks is right, Jim. And if you don't, then I don't see how you can live with yourself. I don't see how I can get back home in Texas and look in the mirror and be proud of what I see if I allowed the loud voices, the loud critics, to prevent me from doing what I thought was necessary to protect this country.
Did you catch that? The thing that Bush couldn't bring himself to face in the mirror, is a man who listens to his critics. Out of everything that's happened in the eight years of this Presidency, including (but hardly limited to) about 4,000 dead soldiers in Iraq and a million or more dead Iraqis, that-weakness in the face of criticism-is what he'd be most ashamed of. What a fool.
Fortunately, that's all I had time to hear. If there's worse, please don't even tell me.