ABC News’ Tahman Bradley Reports: Across the pond for a Europe farewell tour, President Bush spoke candidly about his legacy, acknowledging mistakes in handling the Iraq war. Bush told the British newspaper, The Times, he regrets the bitter division over the Iraq war and — rather remarkably — admitted his words in the lead up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq did not help unite the country behind the effort.
The paper writes that the president "expressed regret at the bitter divisions over the war and said that he was troubled about how his country had been misunderstood."
Bush told the paper, "I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric." Bush also admitted that some of his strong phrases like "bring them on" or in general his "Cowboy Talk" — as he once referred to it in an ABC News’ interview with George Stephanopoulos — affected the perception of the U.S. around the world. Those phrases, Bush said, according to the paper," indicated to people that I was, you know not a man of peace."
Read the complete "Times" story HERE.
On presidential politics, as he has done before, Bush acknowledged to the Times that Sen. Barack Obama’s nomination for president by the Democratic Party is statement of how far American has come. Warm feeling aside, Bush subtly went after Obama on trade. The Illinois Senator supports renegotiating NAFTA and opposes free trade agreements with Colombia and Korea.
Said Bush,"There is concern about protectionism and economic nationalism. " He added,"Leaders recognize now is the time to get ahead of this issue before it becomes engrained in the political systems of our respective countries." Bush also shared concern that Obama would be soft in challenging Iran’s nuclear ambitions