Bush Bashing, Parental Advice and November Politics

Gibson: It's, it's gonna be a fascinating election in 2008. I was thinking just yesterday, I don't think prior probably to … since Eisenhower-Stevenson, in '52, that we've gone into an election without a sort of natural candidate in one of the two parties. Wanna handicap it?

Bush: Well, I--see, I wouldn't concede her [Hillary Clinton] the nomination. Again I--who am I to sit here talking about Democratic politics when I'm not even in Republican politics--

Gibson: Well, but you've shown a pretty good political acumen in your life.

Bush: Yeah well I have … little private opinions that are unsubstantiated by fact. But I think she's gonna have a tough fight, and I don't know from who. I don't know Mark Warner. I think Evan Baye and these are attractive younger guys, maybe not a lot younger than Hillary but young people who are ambitious, and think they'd be good Presidents. And so I think the fight's just beginning. And I don't think it's a gimme for me, nor do I think that, that, necessary that they can beat her.

Gibson: There's a lot of people who think that there's going to be a situation where one Democrat will emerge, and it would be that person versus. Hillary.

Bush: Well I -- I'm -- I'm not surprised, that in essence is, I guess, what I'm trying to say here, not particularly articulately. Because I think, as the heat gets up, you'll see that happen.

Gibson: What about the Republican side, the side I suspect you know better.

Bush: Confused, I'd say right now. And John McCain is out there, with a--waging a strong effort. Uh, Mit Romney, surprising, he's coming on pretty strong. Rudy Giuliani if he decides to run will be formidable. Not sure he will run. I'm sure I'm gonna offend some friends by leaving him out of this speculation. Bill Frist, you talk about a good man, honorable, decent man, there's one. And I think he's interested. So on our side I think, just as on the Democratic side, I think it's way too early to predict what's gonna happen. I came into that nineteen, 1988 campaign as an asterisk in the polls. Didn't show up. Just had a list of people then George Bush, little asterisk sign. And won the Iowa caucus, and went on to, to be the only candidate left standing against Ronald Reagan. And next thing you know he was-- asked me to be his VP. So politics is funny. And this early, you can't say who it's gonna be.

Gibson: Yes, at this stage we were talking about John Connelly, and whatever--

Bush: Big John, exactly--

Gibson: --and his one--his one Arkansas delegate and that, that was it.

Bush: That's right, and he, he ended up not liking me particularly but you can't win 'em all, you know.

Gibson: [LAUGHS] But your … gut sense is how about in 2006, do you think the party holds the Senate, holds the House?

Bush: I think we hold the Senate and I think we can hold the House-- You know, we're right in the middle of the, of the firestorm right now. Last week was the Woodward book. This week it's Foley, and Congress and Congressional ethics. Tomorrow it'll be something else. In even, so, three weeks, four -- a month, in politics goes like this, but, there's a lotta time to correct things, a lotta time for good stuff to happen. There may be a lotta stuff that'll, that will embarrass the Democrats. So who knows. But all I'm saying is, it's not over by a long shot, and I, I hope that we hold the House, it's gonna be closer. And I'm convinced we'll hold the Senate.

Gibson: Mr. President, it's a great pleasure to talk with you.

Bush: Nice to see you.

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