Asked if Obama's election was in any way a repudiation of his administration, Bush saw more nuance.
"I think it was a repudiation of Republicans," he said. "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me. I think most people voted for Barack Obama because they decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy."
He also said that Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain faced a "tough head wind" in the campaign, particularly in terms of the economic climate and the perception of the Republican Party.
Bush praised the Obama campaign's organization and message, and when asked what his parting relationship will be with President-elect Obama, Bush said that he will reach out to the incoming president.
"One of my parting words to him will be: 'If I can help you, let me know,'" Bush said.
President and Mrs. Bush said that they've had enough of the limelight and are looking forward to living a "normal daily life."
"It's going to be an interesting adjustment. We'll adjust. We got each other, we've got our kids, we've got fabulous friends in Texas," Bush said.
"I'm going to have a lot of time to think," he added. "My day is going to go from getting up early-early, and being at the Oval Office at 6:45 a.m., and having a lot to do when you get there, to waking up at 6:45 a.m., getting Momma the coffee -- and kind of wandering around trying -- 'What's next, boss?'"
Bush said he plans to write a book and to continue serving the country with his wife through an institute for policy and library at Southern Methodist University.
As she and the president prepare to say goodbye to the White House, the first lady said she thinks the country is thankful for her husband's leadership.
"I think they think he's somebody that kept them safe for eight years," she said. "And I hear that all the time, people thanking me, telling me to thank him."