Vargas Interview: The Personal Side of President Bush

BUSH: You know Texas is home for me. And it's ... here, come on over here, I'll show you some of the beautiful sights. But Texas is home. You know, look, home is where you're comfortable as well. And you know in our case, home is where you find, at least in my case, home, is where I find love. And I find love where my family is. And we live up there on the second floor. And ah, I can remember visiting mother and dad here and it felt like I was spending the night in a museum.

VARGAS: Does it still feel like that?

BUSH: It feels different, it does feel different. So I want to share that with you.

VARGAS: So you have made it somehow --

BUSH: Well, you know you walk in and you got the dogs and the cat and the girls are in and out. It's uh...

VARGAS: Do either one of them live here now that they're out of college?

BUSH: Barbara spends a lot of time here. She's sort of searching around now that she's off of her South African venture.

VARGAS: Do you like having -- I imagine you must like having them near.

BUSH: Yeah, I really do. You know, they're independent, little -- I call them little -- but independent women.

VARGAS: They will always be your little girls, however!

BUSH: ... be my 'little girls.' I almost stumbled! But I love them dearly and I tell them that and because of that they have this I hope a sense of independence and daring and willingness to use their talents and you know their strong opinions. And they don't mind telling me.

VARGAS: That's good!

BUSH: ... which is good.

VARGAS: Actually I think that's a great thing to encourage and inculcate in your children. I think that sense of curiosity and that sense of confidence to stand up for yourself.

BUSH: Well, I'll tell you something that people accuse me of not being very introspective and maybe they're right at times, because I'm a guy who likes to get things done and focus on results and the future. But one of the reasons I'm standing here is I'm convinced is because my dad gave me a great gift which is unconditional love. And when you get unconditional love from somebody you care about and you love, it gives you a confidence to take risks. To dare to fail.

VARGAS: Because, you know, that they will be in your corner no matter what.

BUSH: That's it because it's and it's really an important part of parenthood I think. And I've tried to do that for our girls. I've tried to be as loving a dad to them as my dad was to me. And knowing the effect it has had on me throughout my life and, it's, and this is an interesting place to practice. And to do it right here in the White House.

VARGAS: It's interesting you hold the most powerful position in the world, truly, but what do you think you were put on this Earth to do?

BUSH: That's a really interesting question. I think first is to honor my family. Family is a really important part of civilization and honor my mother and dad and honor my role as a dad. History will prove whether or not my presidency has been an agent for peace. And that's what I want it to be. I want it to be said that George W. Bush defended America and at the same time laid what I've called the foundations for peace.

BUSH: Anyway this is the Rose Garden.

VARGAS: It's beautiful.

BUSH: By the way, this tree was planted by Andrew Jackson.

VARGAS: Really!

BUSH: The magnolia, it's the oldest tree here.

BUSH: The rose garden is obviously barren now.

VARGAS: But in the spring it must be ...

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