McClellan: I Became What I Wanted to Change

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Not then, right what it happened, uh, but we did have a new chief of staff come on, and we had a, we had a very good discussion about that. Uh, you know, I, I've grown up in politics. I don't take anything personally. And, uh, uh, this book is not something others should take personally. Uh, this book is intended to, uh, really understand things better, and, uh, learn the truth.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Would you ever admit, if you hadn't let the White House under the circumstances you left...

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Uh, uh, it's, it's a, it's a hypothetical question. I'm, I'm actually, you know, in some ways, believe...

MARTHA RADDATZ: Are you bitter?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: No. Um, I'm disappointed. Disappointed that things didn't turn out the way that they did. Uh, but, you know, I think anybody that reads the book will see that, that I, that, uh, there's no bitterness. There may be disappointment, but I said, but I said that...

MARTHA RADDATZ: You mean, disappointment that you were, that you were let go as early as you were?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: No, disappointment that things didn't go the way that I'd hoped they would. Disappointment that this president wasn't able to change the way Washington worked. It wasn't able to change the tone in Washington as both candidates are talking about doing now.

MARTHA RADDATZ: I, I want to bring up something else, and that is, we looked back in file tape, and you were criticizing others- Richard Clark, Paul O'Neill, who, who wrote books- um, you said, "If they had grave concerns, why didn't they express them then? Why didn't he raise them sooner? If you look back at his past comments, and his past actions, they contradict his current rhetoric."

SCOTT McCLELLAN: I was doing my job as the White House Press Secretary, the way that, uh, the President and his team wanted it done. Um, looking back on that, uh, I think I probably should've done things differently at that time.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Why the book now, in the middle of the campaign season? You're a campaign guy. You know you've just given George Bush's enemies a sword.

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Well, uh, first of all, this was a book that has been a long in the writing. Uh, it's taken a- it's been a long process. Uh, again, uh, it was originally scheduled to be released earlier. Uh, but, uh, it was finished. I felt it's important to get it out, so that we can learn from these mistakes, and not repeat them. There's some discussion going on now, um, aboutwar and other areas.And, uh, I don't want us to repeat the same mistakes. And I also think it does, in a way, contribute to today's national political discussion. Uh, you have Senator McCain, who recently talked about ending the permanent campaign. I, I don't think you can end it- I think you can minimize it. Um, and that will be enough. Uh, but it's going to be here. I'm not- I used to think that it can be completely wiped out. Uh, but then you have Senator Obama, running much like the President, on changing the way Washington works. The only thing he doesn't say -- divider, otherwise that message is very similar to what we said in 2000. And I think that I offer some ideas for the candidates, to start considering, so that when they come into office, they don't run into the same problems that we did, on not having planned for addressing some of these very issues that can come back to haunt you later.

MARTHA RADDATZ: What do you think of John McCain?

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