George Bush Talks "Disgusting" Kanye Outburst

As far as November’s hip hop beefs go, this one is maybe the most ridiculous … In an interview with Matt Lauer set to air next week, Bush says Kanye West’s “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” statement during the post-Katrina telethon was “one of the most disgusting moments” of his presidency. The Q&A took place in anticipation of the former president’s forthcoming book, Decision Points. He continues:

He called me a racist … And I didn’t appreciate it then. I don’t appreciate it now. It’s one thing to say, “I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business.” It’s another thing to say, “This man’s a racist.” I resent it, it’s not true.

And Lauer quotes Bush from his book:

Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust … I faced a lot of criticism as president. I didn’t like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low.

To which Bush responds: “Yeah. I still feel that way as you read those words. I felt ’em when I heard ’em, felt ’em when I wrote ’em, and I felt ’em when I’m listening to ’em.”

’Em, he’s apparently fixated on it, to the disregard of other maybe more “disgusting” moments of his presidency. See, for instance, this exchange between GW and Lauer:

MATT LAUER: You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your presidency?

GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes. My record was strong, I felt, when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And it was a disgusting moment.

ML: I wonder if some people are going to read that, now that you’ve written it, and they might give you some heat for that. And the reason is this–

GWB:: (interrupting) Don’t care.

ML: Well, here’s the reason. You’re not saying that the worst moment in your presidency was watching the misery in Louisiana. You’re saying it was when someone insulted you because of that.

GWB: No, and I also make it clear that the misery in Louisiana affected me deeply as well. There’s a lot of tough moments in the book. And it was a disgusting moment, pure and simple.

Curious what Bush thinks about West’s Taylor Swift interruption. For his part, West told Hot 97 he thinks the Swift thing’s bigger than the Bush moment. (No, not that bush moment.) You can read more about the conversation with Lauer at EW. The full interview will air on a prime-time Matt Lauer Reports special on 11/8 at 8PM. Bush’s book is out the next day.

Update: It turns out Kanye sympathizes with GW. According to XXL, after catching “a quick glimpse” of the interview with Lauer, West phoned 97.9 in Houston, TX today and said the following:

Well I can definitely understand the way he feels to be accused of being a racist in any way because the same thing happened to me, you know, where I got accused of being racist, and with both situations it was basically a lack of compassion that America saw … With him it was a lack of compassion not rushing, you know, taking his time to rush down to New Orleans. With me, it was a lack of compassion in cutting someone off in their moment, but none the less I feel we’re all quick to pull the race card (in America). And now I’m more open, and the poetic justice that I feel to go through the same thing that he went (through), and now I really more connect with him on a humanitarian level … the next morning when he felt that, I felt the same thing…

Because he’s fixated on the Swift thing.

Comments (34)
  1. timely. wonder what he thinks of the OK corral shootout?

  2. I am at a cross roads…I equally dislike both of these two people.

  3. Wow, poor George Bush is upset about being called a bad name. Funny thing is, he wasn’t being called a racist; Kanye wasn’t saying that Bush had an active hatred of black people, he said that Bush was completely apathetic towards poor black people. Which, by the way, appears to be a completely accurate representation of Bush’s political record.

  4. How could you hate them equally? There’s a difference between a musician who’s music you may dislike and one of the most evil motherfuckers ever.

  5. Bush claims that Kanye calling him a racist was the lowest point of his presidency?? WTF! Are you serious? Dude! You ignored getting help to all those thousands of people left stranded without a home and with nothing to eat for three days!! TREEE DAYS! WTF is wrong with you!!? You were supposed to be the first person down there the day after the disaster! Handing out plates of food and hugging the people who lost their loved ones. And someone calling you out on live television out of frustration was the lowest point of your presidency? WE WERE ALL FRUSTRATED. What did you expect? But what about 911? where 3K+ civilians died on that single day… How could that not be the lowest point of your presidency?? It certainly was to the rest of us. The whole thing was not about Kanye, it was about how even after decades since the civil rights movements some things don’t seem to change.

    “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

    -Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967.

  6. How is any of this the “worst moment” of his presidency? Like SubSickAlien said, how could 9/11 not be the worst moment (all conspiracy theories aside)? The sheer number of deaths as a result of that one day should top every other event in his 8 year “leadership.” I predict this book goes to the top of the NYT Best Sellers list, because I for one HAVE to read what “W” has to say about it all, as the worst president in decades, if not in the history of the US.

  7. I try hard (I really do) to see both sides to any issue, but in this case all I can see is wretched vanity on the part of George W. Bush. Even after time for reflection, years even, what he’s been stewing on the most is what he perceives to be a personal insult? As the low point? Shouldn’t time soften that wound, just a little bit? Especially with all the other things that you could have been pondering while “writing” your memoirs?

    But kudos to Kanye for not being regretful about saying it.

  8. “Bush was completely apathetic towards poor black people. Which, by the way, appears to be a completely accurate representation of Bush’s political record.”

    Of course, that’s a demonstrably stupid statement. African leaders say that Bush did more for Africa than any president in history — and even Democrats admit that. If Kanye and the other race-baiters had six brain cells to rub together, they’d know that.

    • What is said in politics and the truth in politics is rarely one and the same. Backroom discussions and private incentives hold far more influence when making public statements that genuine honesty. Taking the word of press releases that come from the White House, or any government for that matter, at face value is a demonstrably stupid action.If you had six brain cells to rub together, you’d know that.

      • than* genuine honesty.
        Fuck, now my entire comment loses its credibility

      • Even if we accept your very-convenient premise that any praise of Bush must necessarily be a lie, Sir Bob Geldof has no political dog in that fight. So why would he “lie” and say that Bush has the best record on Africa of any President? Why are women in Darfur naming their babies “George Bush?” Why did he have 80% approval rates in Africa, even in countries with large Muslim populations?

        Sorry, your theory does not hold up to factual scrutiny.

        • My premise, either explicitly stated or implied, was never that any praise of Bush must be a lie, so shame on you and your assumptions! My premise was that political press statements, or press statements from any elite political/social actor should never be taken at their word based on nothing more than a ‘that’s what he/she said, so it must be true’ mentality, and that often there is more going into the statement itself than meets the eye..err…ear; backroom discussions, party responsibility, and political strategy often factor in as well. Now, on my behalf, shame on me for skimming your original response and assuming that you were referring to who Kanye was referring to, ie, domestic African Americans (whom Bush has an awful record with), specifically those in Katrina. Had I seen that you were referring to ‘real’ Africans from Africa, I never would have responded in the first place. Though, to be fair, saying that Bush has the best record of any President in Africa is kinda like being 1st place in the special Olympics, no? I mean, it’s not as though the bar was set THAT high…

    • I assume you’re referring to PEPFAR, which was an AIDS reduction program aimed at Africa. You’d have to balance that against the Mexico City policies (http://www.plusnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=36285), which did a great deal to increase the spread of AIDS in Africa. As for African-Americans (which is what Kayne was referring to), Bush policies both as governor and president were near universally disastrous.

  9. “WTF is wrong with you!!? You were supposed to be the first person down there the day after the disaster! Handing out plates of food and hugging the people who lost their loved ones.”

    Come on, now you guys are just getting silly.

    So every president in history hates black people. ‘Cuz ain’t none of them ever satisfied your bizarre job description, where the President has to be a cross between a FEMA aid worker, a cop, a priest and a soup kitchen worker. So why do Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco hate black people? Has Obama EVER been to the killer flood sites in Missouri, Tennessee, or Rhode Island? Nope. But he gets a pass, right?

    • Um, I don’t think you can equate Hurricane Katrina, a natural disaster that was strong enough to destroy an entire city, with one of the many floodings in those other regions. I mean, granted, those are all horrible occurances…but there is no fucking way you can give credit to the way Bush handled Katrina. I mean, that would be like me bitching about Bush not coming to California every time we have an earthquake. Also, how the fuck can you say BUSH DID MORE FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS THAN ANY OTHER PRESIDENT IN HISTORY? I’m not even going to argue with that statement on the grounds that you are being SO STUPID that there must be some ironic underpinning in that comment.

      • Sorry, this is kind of incoherent as I am baffled by these two comments.

        • I think it’s incoherent because you’re making blanket uneducated statements based on negative hype directed towards a globally critiqued world leader. I’m not saying you’re wrong; I’m simply saying it’s unintelligent.

      • Clearly George W. Bush did more for African Americans than any other president in history because no African American was ever elected president until after his glorious 8 years in office.

  10. His second worst moment was probably not being able to finish reading that book with those kids on the morning of 9/11. Poor kids will never learn to pronounce nuclear.

  11. come on, everyone knows bush would rather be called a liar (WMDs), a war-mongering profiteer (haliburton), or a captain abandoning ship (trillion dollar deficit) rather than, gasp, a racist

    • That he, his co-author and all his editors rightfully assumed that being called a racist on TV by a celebrity would be more detrimental to his name than any of the other things you listed tells you more about society than it does George W. Bush. Mainly the politically correct hysteria in the US where all things race is concerned and just how much credence the American public give to worthless dipshits like Kanye West simply because he’s a famous.

      I don’t have much love for Mr Bush, but the underlying climate that makes this kind of statement more important for his return to acceptance by the public than anything else he could have to say is by far the more disturbing issue.

  12. You people are a bunch of whackos. How do you sleep at night knowing that there are so many conspiracies going on?

  13. “I hear there’s, uh, rumors on the internets…”

  14. “but there is no fucking way you can give credit to the way Bush handled Katrina.”

    And I didn’t, other than pointing out the ridiculous standard the poster holds Bush to (but apparently not Obama or any other President in history, nor the mayor of NO, nor the Gov of LA). You DO admit he was being ridiculous, right?

    “Also, how the fuck can you say BUSH DID MORE FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS THAN ANY OTHER PRESIDENT IN HISTORY? I’m not even going to argue with that statement…”

    Because you CAN’T argue with what I said, which was Bush did more for AFRICA than any other President. Because it’s a fact, and because you apparently don’t know how to Google. Look, I didn’t say it, African Presidents from Tanzania to Uganda to Benin said it.

    Sir Bob Geldof, no fan of Bush, said it, too. (“Mr. Bush has done more than any other president so far. This is the triumph of American policy really. It was probably unexpected of the man. It is expected of the nation, but not of the man, but both rose to the occasion…Geldof said that the president has failed “to articulate this to Americans” but said he is also “pissed off” at the press for their failure to report on this good news story. “You guys didn’t pay attention,” Geldof said to a group of reporters from all the major newspapers.)

    Leaders of Project 21 said it, too. (“From funding for AIDS prevention and treatment to conflict resolution, the Bush Administration’s approach towards Africa has been a refreshing difference from his predecessors,” said Project 21 member Kevin Martin.)

    Democrats like Andrew Young said it, too. (“They have been encouraging democracy and development, trade and still not neglecting the needs of AIDS and malaria and education on the African continent…”)

    But I suppose you know more then they do. Because you’re, uhhhhh, what now?

  15. I think the whole mix up might stem from the fact that Kanye didn’t mean (or should’t have implied) that Bush hated all black people. He was just understandably irked at Bush/FEMA/etc. for not doing enough to help out the underprivileged, many of whom were black, who were really getting boned.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF_vTm35SEA

  16. I think the whole mix up might stem from the fact that Kanye didn’t mean (or should’t have implied) that Bush hated all black people. He was just understandably irked at Bush/FEMA/etc. for not doing enough to help out the underprivileged, many of whom were black, who were really getting boned.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF_vTm35SEA

  17. Ah crap

  18. I’m really proud of Georgie for taking the time to really examine his presidency and come to this conclusion. This makes sense!

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