Bush: His plan -- the numbers didn't come up -- but one of the things I assured the Iraqi government of is that President-elect Obama is, uh, will honor the agreements that we have just signed -- and I think it is very important for them to know he is obviously going to listen to the commanders. He will listen to [Defense] Secretary Gates and Gen. Petraeus, Gen. Odierno, but ... I'm not gong to speak for President-elect Obama. That is what he will do for himself, once he is sworn in as president.
Raddatz: His nominee for cabinet member for V.A. -- Shinseki, what did think of that appointment?
Bush: I thought it was in many ways a brilliant appointment because Gen. Shinseki served with great distinction and he is an honorable man and cares deeply about the vets and he is obviously capable of managing entities and the VA is a large entity.
Raddatz: Think he was treated fairly in your administration by [former Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld? Should you have listened to him?
Bush: I did listen to Gen. Shinseki when he came in with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They came in and spoke to me in the Cabinet room and every member of the joint chiefs had their say.
Raddatz: He said we need several hundred troops. To stabilize this country...
Bush: I can't remember the exact conversation, but that one does not...
Raddatz: Do you think he was treated fairly?
Bush: Wait a minute, let me finish your penetrating question please. You, you, you, I, I must confess, I don't remember those exact words being spoken to me by Gen. Shinseki. I must confess I don't remember those exact words being spoken to me, by Gen. Shi… he may have said it.
Raddatz: He was on the Hill...
Bush: I don't remember him coming to talk to me specifically with the other generals on the joint chiefs, but I just don't remember that conversation. It may have happened at the White House, I don't think so, but it could have. He's an honorable man and I appreciate his service
Raddatz: Afghanistan deteriorated -- your concerns?
Bush: No question the violence is up because the Taliban is making firm moves. In Afghanistan, you said it is deteriorating? It is no question though, no question there is a need for more troops, which I announced earlier this fall, but also no question that we will succeed.
Raddatz: Did you ever imagine your presidency ending, and I know it's not over yet, without capturing Osama bin Laden?
Bush: We have done great damage to al Qaeda. We have denied them safe havens, a safe haven in Iraq. We are pursuing them in Pakistan. We have got them on the run. We're keeping the pressure on them full time. And do I wish we had brought Osama bin Laden to justice, sure. But he's not leading a lot of parades these days.