George W. Bush talks liquor, Libby with Matt Lauer

In advance of tonight’s one-hour primetime special on NBC, Matt Lauer teased more of his pre-taped interview with George W. Bush this morning on Today. Sitting in the church where he married his wife, Bush told Lauer that his faith helped him decide to quit drinking cold turkey after his 40th birthday. “I was a drinker. Now I wasn’t a knee-walkin’ drunk,” Bush says. Oh, how we’ve missed his turn of phrase. He was a habitual drinker who’s certain would never have become president had he not stopped, because alcohol made his quick tongue “not only quick, but caused me to be stupid.” Lauer says he’ll give an example of that in the full interview, which airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

Bush also discussed his controversial decision to commute the sentence of Scooter Libby, saving┬áVice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff from prison. In Bush’s memoir, on shelves Tuesday, he says Cheney was angry he didn’t give Libby a full pardon, and told him, “I can’t believe you’re gonna leave a soldier on the battlefield.” Did Bush and Cheney’s relationship ever recover? “I’m pleased to report, it has…. We are friends today,” Bush says. “I was a little concerned at one time,” he added with a laugh.

Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • Me

    I don’t think alcohol is solely responsible for W’s stupidity.

  • JPX

    Just seeing that banal blank face again reminds me how glad I am that he is no longer in charge of things. It continues to astound me that he fails to appreciate the utter damage he inflicted upon our nation; damage that will take years to clean up. What an awful man.

    • JackBQuik

      WOW, you have hit the nail on the head. Those sound like my words. Get outta my head. I agree totally. Why would he regret what some rapper said about him? What about the American people drowning in a housing crisis due to the “He tried to keel ma Daddy” hypocrisy? The debt caused by these unwinnable wars amounts to tri-trillions and will take 10 to 12 years to iron out.

    • jo aweful the man got elected to 2 terms. Aweful can describe Carter though. I think Carter is still aweful!!!!

      • nodnarb

        I think the fact that you misspelled “awful” not once, but 3 times, is fairly indicative of how Bush got elected to 2 terms.

      • Jeff

        Yes, Carter did not have a great time in office from an economic stand point. However, he did not start any illegal wars. He did not run up our debt to a huge sum. He also did not pardon a criminal like Libby. Plus he’s an excellent example of what an ex-president should be like.

      • Joe

        Carter is a humanitarian and a statesman. Nothing surprises me after 8 years of George W, but I would laugh if anyone ever thinks its a good idea to send George overseas to negotiate the release of American citizens, speak with foreign leaders, etc.

      • diane heath

        It’s “awful” stupid.

    • etm

      JPX, you are 100% right!
      jo, you are a 100% idiot.

  • keefterdam

    He’s a jerk.


      Do you mean Matt?

  • LibbyP

    Valerie Plume was the soldier left on the battlefield.

    • Aishwarya

      You mean Plame right?

    • LibbyP

      Yep, sorry – good catch.

  • Alyssa

    Has he admitted the Iraq WAR was his dumbest move yet and it caused millions of us financial damage for ages to come because of it. Or that Rove was speaking in his ear for him

    • Joe

      No Bush thinks out of all the things that happened in his 8 eight years. The worst was when Kanye said he doesn’t care about black people. That about sums it up for everyone.

    • carolina

      We are at about 740 BILLION dollars and counting but that is nothing compared to the lives lost all based on bad intelligence – WMD that did not exist. I still believe it was just a feel good war for him to take our eyes off the real prize. Osama Bin Laden.

      • nowar

        Have you counted how many lives have been lost in Afghanistan since 2008, especially this past year. Where is the prize now, Pakistan. When are we going to invade there? – Old men go to war, young men die. This president is not different that the last one in this respect.

  • Lol

    wow you people are dumb

  • Fingerlakes Dave

    People forget, he was the President who got us through 9/11.
    He admits his mistakes. That puts him miles above Clinton in my book.

    • Jimbo

      Yes, people are quick to forget. Not that one good deed balances out the others, but when we’re talking about his Presidency, we really shouldn’t forget his role in helping our nation recover. His simplicity was exactly what we needed as a nation to begin emotionally healing….

      • Joe

        People who support Bush are also quick to forget the failed response after Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq, and the 8 years of mismanaged economic decisions that led us to the recession and high unemployment we see now.

      • etm

        Don’t forget about his destruction of the environment too!

    • nodnarb

      Yeh, it was a real patriotic moment when the Bush administration captured Osama bin Laden.

      • Rolo Tomasi

        Yeah, I don’t see Obama putting forth much of an effort but I guess it’s because they are of the same religion

      • nodnarb

        I don’t believe anyone is arguing that Obama “got us through 9/11″


        Hey Obama was busy running for Dog Catcher in 2001, so that is not fair.

    • niki

      How exactly did Bush “get us through” 9/11? By sending our sons, daughters, and friends to be killed in a war that had nothing to do with the terror attacks on America? I understand that war is necessary in some circumstances, but I’m against the kind of war that Bush entered this country into. Yes, even Presidents are human and make mistakes, but he made some of the largest and most damaging mistakes this country has experienced in a long time. The war in Iraq, the abandoning of New Orleans during Katrina, and allowing big business to destroy our current economy. We’re lucky to have “gotten through” the Bush Administration.

      • taksi

        Did people forget that 9/11 happened under his watch? He had intel about an impending attack and his administration failed to act. People need to stop with this “he got us through 9/11″ bs.

    • etm

      He was also the President who basically LET 9/11 happen after ignoring intelligence reports!!!

  • John

    You people are idiots. You have no idea what it’s like going to bed every night wondering is someone was going to blow up another building because of the lack of effort or concern people had in the past about terrorists. That guy lived with that for 4 years and all you people want to do it put him down. The housing crash had nothing to do with Bush. It had to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Read and you might learn something. But then again you only belive the crap you hear from the left.

    • nodnarb

      I’m sorry, but you are horribly misinformed. Part of Bush’s 2004 campaign was “ownership society,” a phrase his administration coined. It was this mania for home ownership, which included deregulations of how mortgagers can approve loans, that led to the housing crash.

      • Rolo Tomasi

        @nodnarb, which was led by Barney Frank and the Democrat led Congress.

      • nodnarb

        Barney Frank led Bush’s 2004 campaign? Who knew!

      • nodnarb

        Oh, jeezus, how do I even miss that last part? During Bush’s administration, Congress was led by Republicans.

      • Repub

        Actually, it started back in the 90’s under Clinton — there’s a NY Times article on it

      • Alyssa

        Newspapers can be just as biased as tv news channels.

    • Joe

      And I suppose the economic recession and unemployment in this country are all due to the Democrats? If you read something, you would know a significant economic downturn occurs over at least a 5 year period of time. Maybe, if we had spent a tenth on housing, employment, trade, infastructure, etc. that we spent on 2 wars, we might not the significant economic problems that exist today.

  • MidTerm Voter

    It’s the level of intelligience you people have shown yourselves to have that got someone like Obama elected!

    • Shamus N.

      No, it’s the level of intelligence you’ve shown to put the people responsible for this mess in the first place, and who who have done absolutely nothing to help, back in power!

    • Alyssa

      HEY midterm voter: I am all for REPUBLICANS cleaning up there own mess. AS they sit and criticize OBAMA for not fixing 8 years of damage in 2 years. They now have 2 years to put there big mouths into action and see how where it truly gets them.

  • jo

    I miss W. Say what you will but as president he really tried to do right by America. Besides,he is probably the happiest guy in America and I for one thinks he deserves that happiness!!!

    • Joe

      He’s the happiest guy in America because he and his family benefited from many of the things that have cost many hard-working Americans their homes, jobs, financial security, etc. I guess as long as he has a folksy personality, its okay that he’s happy while millions of Americans are unemployed, homeless, and poor.

  • Bibi

    Bush is an idiot. Always was, always will be. As a true born Texan, he’s just a poser. I wonder if the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis we bombed into oblivion for no good reason self-flagellate every year on the anniversary of our bombing them instead of the Saudi’s who actually destroyed the World Trade Center.

  • tt

    the worst president in US history should have left his office like Nixon. He should have been impeached because he dragged the country into a very costly war based on lies. He took over a very positive budget and dragged the USA into catastrophical debts. Thus he left the country in ruins which will take lots of generations and presidents to recover from. And now he is hawking a memoir, great!

  • Kurt

    Actually jeff, Carter did start an illegal war by funding the Jihad in Afghanistan…it came back to bite us.
    Every President has had huge failures. SOme have had more successes. Blaming all ills on one person is so lame and tired, no matter who it is. Issues are much more complicated than that.

  • Flyer

    I’m shocked that Bush actually revealed that Cheney referred to Libby as a “soldier left on the battlefield.” Cheney’s words confirm that Libby did indeed sacrifice himself by taking the fall for Cheney and Rove, after they decided to commit a treasonous act – outting Valerie Plame as a CIA agent – as payback for her husband undermining the Bush administration with the truth.

  • Flyer

    This past weekend, I saw the exhibit “Covering Hurricane Katrina” at the Newseum in DC. People experienced incredible hardship and suffering. Journalists asked Bush administration officials point-blank “why are we getting more information than you are” and “why aren’t you watching our reports to see what’s going on here?” And then Bush says the worst moment of his presidency was when Kanye West “dissed” him. REALLY, George? That’s the thing that made you angry and disgusted? I might be inclined to pity the man for the enormity of his self-delusion, if so many people hadn’t suffered and/or died as a result of his decisions.

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