11/2/2000: George W. Bush Explains DUI

Days before election, details emerge of Bush's DUI arrest from 24 years prior.
3:00 | 09/07/14

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Transcript for 11/2/2000: George W. Bush Explains DUI
The campaign's worst nightmare in the presidential races so tight that almost -- -- unexpected could tip the balance. The time remaining until Election Day is so short. But it may be difficult to fix the damage and regain momentum. At the very least -- the only four days left of this presidential campaign this story that seemed to come out of nowhere throws the bush camp off stride. And soaks -- are critical days worth of headlines. The story broke in Kennebunkport Maine. For the bush family still owns a vacation compound. A reporter from a local television station learned that George W. Bush had been arrested 24 years ago for driving while under the influence. Karen Hughes the governor's communications director appeared earlier this evening to answer reporters' questions. 24 years ago in September of 1976. In Kennebunkport Maine where he was visiting his parents. Governor bush was stopped after leaving a bar where he had had several Beers. And was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. He pled guilty. He was found guilty of misdemeanor. Driving under the influence of alcohol. Paid -- 150 dollar fine. And had his driving privileges suspended in name for a period of time. Governor bush has always acknowledged. That he made mistakes of the past. Years ago when he was drinking this was a mistake this is something he has not -- Drinking and driving is wrong. And it's this again as -- the mistake that he made in the past and he is not proud of of this. Did you ever -- the parent isn't the only time to -- Iraq. His driving privileges were suspended -- and no he did not he did not drive during that period apparently there any other arrest -- of this nature of any -- -- as we previously disclosed. Governor bush was arrested. College. Four a a fraternity prank involving eight at Christmas wreath where he and and some of his friends took a Christmas wreath. From a hotel. He also was asked to leave a football game -- he had some friends have been -- but this -- -- the only arrest the plus there weren't any -- -- only in this are the only rafts. The governor bush has ever been a vegetarian according hundreds literally. I do not know the answer to that he did plead guilty he was released on a personal recognizance bond as his -- -- -- -- he opened. I do not believe so he was released on a personal accident confident no not to my nose wheel vehicle and driving. Yes -- John -- And his wife and the other sister Dorsey and he believes one other friend they have them what can do it -- any better. But -- I think that I think that I hope that a mistake that the governor may 24 years ago. What would not have made an impact in the final days of this election the governor had a problem with any other -- -- it. The governor has acknowledged in the past that he has made mistakes. Then -- short time later governor bush himself faced reporters. Thank you all. For obvious there's a report out tonight that 24 years ago. I was apprehended in Kennebunkport Maine for a DUI and that's an accurate story I'm not proud of that. I. Oftentimes said that. Years ago I made some mistakes and occasionally drank too much and I did on that night. Was pulled over. Admitted to the policeman that I had been drinking have paid a fine. And regret that it happened. But it did have learned my lesson. As I mentioned I. -- many of you know that I quit drinking. Alcohol in 1986. It was the right decision for me to make them. To be glad to answer -- few questions. Well. Came out now because -- TV station in Maine broke the story but I made the decision. That. As a dad. I didn't want my girls doing the kinds of things I did and I told them not to drink and drive his decision I made. And very upfront with people the state of Texas. That you know that I had been drinking in the past that I had made mistakes. And story broke. I think yet -- gets -- -- in question why now four days before an election. No the girls -- not know until tonight I don't talk to them. Nobody is spending night in jail if I -- I spent time interest. After -- -- I think the people knew that I had been straightforward that I had made mistakes in the past has happened 24 years ago. I do -- and insisting that's come out for five days before election. And I. I've been straightforward of people saying that I used to drink too much in the past and straightforward people saying that I don't right now. Yeah. Yes I was yes -- was. -- -- I didn't I'm not trying to get away with anything can. I thought I. I could just explain why and wanted to make I didn't want to talk about this in front of my daughters I've told my daughters they shouldn't be drinking and driving his decision I made. I've been very candid about my past I've said I've made mistakes in the past. People know that they thought about that. They made that this they're making their minds up now and -- is that governor of the state of Texas have upheld the honor integrity of my office and it's a regrettable incidents. That -- -- -- -- for five days before the election is coming to the surface and only thing I can today is is that I told the people in my state -- used to drink. I quit drinking I'm not gonna drink. And I haven't had a drink at fourteen years. And army. No there's not -- -- not. No none at all none whatsoever -- matter of fact I am. You know I try to unite the -- the guy had been drinking. And what I need to do. And he said here's the fine that paid the fine. In my duty. I was drinking Barea. Which John -- I -- bears. Enough to have been in violation of of the law like him of having -- is 24 years ago. And I think the people of people of America will understand that I think fishing thing is is that why five days before an election -- xenophile. That's that's that's your job. I got I got my suspicions. Thank you off I've got my suspicions. And. Thank you very much. When vice president Gore's campaign plane landed in El Paso, Texas tonight gore spokesman close -- -- Chris -- pain. Flatly denied that the gore campaign -- any thing to do with the release of this story and kept refusing to comment on.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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