TRANSCRIPT: Charles Gibson Interviews President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush

FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH: I can -- I'll tell you this, they will be united behind the Republican whoever it is when the nomination is finished and we know who it is.

CHARLES GIBSON: And Mr. President, three months from now, we'll know who the nominees are, essentially, this thing is so front-loaded --

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: Amazing, isn't it, yeah. Uh, you know --

CHARLES GIBSON: What's your sense of, of who it'll be.

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: I'm like Laura, I really don't know, um …uh, and if I didn't I wouldn't wanna opine about it.

CHARLES GIBSON: You said --

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: I have a sense -- I have a sense that, um … I think, I think we're gonna wanna reevaluate a primary system that gets so front-end-loaded. It's, I'm not sure what to think about it, I do -- I, I, I, I know people are adjusting, all the campaigns are coming up with game -- new game plans, but …

CHARLES GIBSON: This thing has been going for a year. And, I wonder to what extent it inhibits your ability to get anything done in Washington and to govern.

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: Yeah. I don't think so, I don't -- certainly not on foreign policy. Um …

CHARLES GIBSON: But you're not gonna get immigration done in this year, you're not --

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: No --

CHARLES GIBSON: -- gonna get Social Security reform done --

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: No, I know --

CHARLES GIBSON: -- you're not gonna get health-care reform done because everything is so politicized --

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: We may get some health-care reform done. But you're right, it's, uh, you know, and we're not gonna raise taxes. Unless they can override my vetos.

CHARLES GIBSON: And it's almost impossible to get war funding worked out --

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: We'll get something done on the vets -- oh, we'll get war funding.

CHARLES GIBSON: You will.

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: Absolutely.

CHARLES GIBSON: But -- but we're gonna go through all kinds of political handstands --

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: And shouldn't --

CHARLES GIBSON: -- first.

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: And shouldn't, as a matter of fact on that issue, the Congress, uh, oughta put aside their … philosophical differences with, you know, with the decision I made, uh, on Iraq, and fund these troops. We'll get something -- we'll get a lot, we'll get some, good stuff done on veterans, we got the Dole - Shelala Commission, made some very strong recommendations that the administration strongly supports. We -- we -- we can get some positive things done, but you're right, you know, you get beyond June or July, heading into those conventions, it's … pretty much Presidential politics--

CHARLES GIBSON: But it almost goes back to last June and July that everything has had a -- has been seen through a political prism in Washington. If there's one thing you could get done, one thing, that you could get done in your last year of office, what would it be?

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: That's, make sure those vets get, uh, uh, you know, a modern …system that is …where the bureaucracy functions as smoothly as possible, and that-- I believe we will, get some positive things done for the veterans.

CHARLES GIBSON: You have said you don't wanna comment politically but you did tell a book author that you thought Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee --

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