Transcript: Charlie Gibson Interviews President Bush

BUSH: I keep recognizing we're in a war against ideological thugs and keeping America safe.

GIBSON: How about you? Greatest feeling of accomplishment as First Lady?

MRS. BUSH: Well, for him, one great feeling of accomplishment of his that I appreciate is the liberation of Afghanistan, and the fact that girls are in school in Afghanistan, and women can walk on the streets without a male escort. And it's still tough there, and we read about it every day. But I've met a lot of women from Afghanistan, both on my visits there, and women who come through the United States studying to be teachers, or working with judges, the women judges, or the parliamentarians that come through, and that's a -- I think that's a huge accomplishment. It's life-changing for the women who live there.

GIBSON: Was there one moment --

BUSH: May I talk about her accomplishment, please?

GIBSON: Sure, sure.

BUSH: I think her greatest accomplishment is that she was able to lift the spirits of a lot of people, whether it be activists in Burma, women in Afghanistan, teachers in America -- that she came and seized the moment, and has been a fabulous First Lady.

MRS. BUSH: Thank you. GIBSON: High point of the eight years? The one moment when this all felt the best?

BUSH: You know, it's -- I would say maybe the 2004 inauguration, because I had a difficult first-term presidency -- not such an easy one second term, either, by the way -- but I had taken my message to the American people, campaigned hard, in a race that, frankly, I wasn't expected to win; won; and then was able to go in front of the American people again, thank them for their confidence, and start a second term.

GIBSON: How about for you? One moment?

MRS. BUSH: Well, there have been lots of moments, so many moments. It's hard to say just one. Being able to represent the United States in Africa on the five different trips I was able to make there, and see people who literally had come back from the dead because the American people funded antiretrovirals for them, had what's called the "Lazarus effect," and had been dying from AIDS and now are productive. Those were always wonderful moments to be able to see that.

GIBSON: Greatest disappointment?

BUSH: Well, I mentioned one, and that is no weapons of mass destruction. I think another -- in Iraq. I think another great disappointment was not getting immigration reform done. I firmly believe that the immigration debate really didn't show the true nature of America as a welcoming society. I fully understand we need to enforce law and enforce borders. But the debate took on a tone that undermined the true greatness of America, which is that we welcome people who want to work hard and support their families.

GIBSON: Did the country disappoint you in its reaction to that issue?

BUSH: No, not really. What was interesting was, is that the issue was very hot for a period of time; then the primaries ended and it wasn't much of an issue in the general election. It -- listen, immigration is a highly emotional issue. It's always been a highly emotional issue throughout our history. I was disappointed we didn't get a bill out of Congress. That's where I was disappointed.

GIBSON: How about you? One thing you'd have liked to have done as First Lady that perhaps didn't get done?

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