George W. Bush recalls how New Yorkers greeted him on his first post-9/11 visit -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

In an exclusive first look from National Geographic Channel’s George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview, the former president recalls his first visit to New York City after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. “I remember the West Side Highway was lined with our fellow citizens,” Bush says with a warm smile. “It was a real sign of solidarity. As [then New York mayor] Rudy [Giuliani] pointed out, it’s a unique moment. ‘Most of them didn’t vote for you,’ is what he told me.” Check out the full clip below: 

The full interview airs on Aug. 28 at 10 p.m. ET.

Read more:
George W. Bush to discuss 9/11 in National Geographic special
Networks schedule 9/11 anniversary specials
George W. Bush talks liquor, Libby with Matt Lauer

Comments (167 total) Add your comment
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  • amy

    Now that was a President with some b@lls!!!

    • Jay

      Bulls and No brains = awful president

      • meme

        beats the golfing basketball playing vacationing rarely in the oval office totally screwing up the country president you idiots elected.

      • Grandma Palin

        Bush took more vacation time in his first year than Clinton did in all of his 8 years and all Presidents play golf. You sound like a big enough idiot to vote for me!

      • Jay

        @meme: actually… NO IT DOESN’T. I’d take a vacationing softie over a bullheaded idiot ANYDAY

      • Polly

        Agree, I hate how much hostility everyone has for Bush. Everyone knows the current president is a total failure, they are just too embarrassed to admit that they fell for it.

      • Kim

        Really meme? From CBS News: “So far, President Obama has taken 61 vacation days after 31 months in office. At this point in their presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 180 days at his ranch where his staff often joined him for meetings. And Ronald Reagan had taken 112 vacation days at his ranch. Among recent presidents, Bill Clinton took the least time off — 28 days”

      • Desmond’s constant

        @ meme-It’s amazing how you idiots have such selective memories. FYI -Bush was the guy who spent more time on vacation than any other president. Must be nice to not have pesky things like truth or facts intrude on your beliefs, huh? But then again, if you did, then you wouldn’t be a Republican.

      • arm

        @meme… you do realize that describes your guy (with less the basketball…and much much more time out of the oval office)

      • An Average Sized Mustache

        Da bulls.

      • Mary

        Bill Clinton did take that much vacation time because every day was a vacation with him.

      • kahuna

        @ Meme…you mean the guy who ACTUALLY did and continues to take out the republican trash terrorists. Maybe bush should have tried playing basetball.

      • AR

        Clinton probably didn’t take that much time off from the office because he was screwing that girl in his office…

      • Chloe

        meme – President Obama would not have the problems the country is facing if it wasn’t for Bush. Obama inherited a budget out of control by TWO unfunded wars that Bush started. The Real Estate fiasco started during Bush’s term and Obama inherited it. WAKE UP silly!

      • @Chloe

        Ah…. you fail to remember that the real estate fiasco started under Clinton, with his push to increase home ownership. This partly set in motion the events that created the financial meltdown. There is enough blame to go around for everyone. Don’t let your obvious political bias blind you.

      • Steve

        Bush was a traitor to this country, and should’ve been tried as such. Proof:
        – Failure to take action when NSA reported bin laden ready to strike US
        – $120M of weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon
        – Forced Gaza elections, creating new terrorist state of Hamas-istan
        – Negotiated with Muslim Brotherhood in Damascus
        – Cancelled 5 proposed missions to kill/capture bin laden and zawahiri
        – Failure to bailout Lehman Brothers crashed global financial system, leading to 14M lost American jobs

    • Dinjab

      You mean a President with BILLS? Because he’s the one who added two wars, huge tax cuts, and a massive prescription drug benefit to the national debt without any means of paying for them.

      • LM

        He was a lousy president, but he’s starting to seem like a statesman compared to the lunatics running the republican party these days.

      • @LM

        Bush let those crazies loose. He made extremism accessible to the masses. (If only that were an oxymoron…)

    • Sharlin

      Biggest failure and the reason we are all suffering now.

      • @Sharlin

        Wrong.

      • SteverB

        Oooo, “@Sharlin”, such a well thought out rebuttal. Idiot.

      • Fender

        @ SteverB: Yours is no better.

      • muhahaha

        @SteverB – well your reply just makes you sound like an a@@. so….

    • Juls

      That was a president who did more damage to our country than any other. It will takes years to undo the damage he did. And that is a fact regardless your political affiliation.

    • Jeff

      Although President Bush was hardly perfect, and there were definitely some fair criticisms towards him and his administration, I believe history will look at him in a better light than it currently is now.

  • PeterBilt

    I am really looking forward to this interview. All bs and politics aside(i never voted for him) he is a pretty genuine guy and it should be a good program

    • Emma

      Agreed.

    • Ruby

      Indeed. He’s always seemed to be a nice, well-meaning guy. Interested to hear more from the interview.

    • K

      I agree. I like him so much better when he’s not sitting in the Oval Office. Even though I didn’t vote for him, I did come to appreciate a man who truly did what he believed was the right thing for us. I’ll be interested to see what else he has to say.

      • pie thrower

        George W Bush got a bum rap. This is a man who responded to a terrorist attack on our soil immediately. He made the decisions that no president would like to make despite the criticism. He never lied. He was always honest.

        He is harshly criticized for his lack of response to Hurricane Katrina. I always ask those critics, what was he supposed to do by arriving there earlier.

        President Obama has promised change. What change? I do not see any change. It has been nearly 4 years and change has not come.

      • Skye

        He did what was best to make money for his friends. Holy crap you republicans are idiots. No wonder you love Faux News so much.

      • Kathryn

        On a personal level, I think Bush is a decent guy. He just wasn’t a good president to have in a time of crisis. He did alright before 9/11. Some people just wouldn’t be equipped to handle that sort of catastrophe. Bush was one of them.

      • @Skye

        Way to propagate the liberal myth.

    • LOL

      Dubya should be in jail.

    • Skye

      Yep, a genuine moron and coward.

      • dgh

        @skye

        Pot met Kettle!

      • @Skye

        @Skye – Neither a moron nor a coward. Put down the liberal crack pipe and face facts.

      • Alyssa

        No, thats pretty much it. A Greedy Fool too. He should be behind bars for war crimes. Anyone who still stands by him is a pure idiot. Republicans until you realize he is the cause of todays pain in the economy you will lose, lose and lose again. Life is life you cant change what has been done.

  • william wallace

    Why ? show such an clip.

    It but insulting / the MANY
    whom / in having suffered
    insults the many whom in
    hundreds of thousands…
    without mercy / murdered.

    HAVE YOU NO SHAME ?.

    • amy

      Wiliam Wallace -What???? lol

    • sherman

      Dude- if you are going to rant- speak English. Bush was a more ‘human’ president with feelings about his fellow Americans than the “Mr Plastic” President we have now. Just my opinion…

      I want to see the show because it is produced by Nat’l Geographic and it was HISTORY.

      • Ruby

        I actually completely agree. Would it hurt Obama to show some emotions once in a while? Sometimes I think he’s a robot the Democratic Party came up with.

      • Alyssa

        President Obama does show emotions you on the right have a small emotional range, either that or no empathy.

      • @Alyssa

        psssst….. alyssa…. your liberal bias is showing.

  • Redeyecat

    Amazing that Bush’s two terms would already be regarded as the good old days…

    • Jimmy

      Amazing and more than a little sad.

      • Well…

        Maybe it seemed “amazing” because he was slowly tearing the country apart only to have it happen after he left. I suppose stuff like this is an attempt revise history and not have him looked back as what he is… the very worst president this country has ever had. Seems like a nice guy sure… but so is the greeter at Wal-Mart.

      • @Well…

        I wouldn’t be so quick to call him the worst president we have had – Obama isn’t done yet….

      • @Well….

        Carter was the worst President. Bush would run a distant second in the race for the worst.

    • Jay

      I dont think of those days as the “good old days”… you must be crazy. The Clinton years were the good old days. The Bush era was the downward spiral to failure

      • Mellissa

        What Jay said.

      • RCS

        Sorry but there was far more prosperity during the Reagan administration.

      • Jay

        @RCS: prosperity on what terms…? Reagan left office with a defecit. Clinton left office with an economic surpluss.
        Just let that sink in for a moment… AN ECONOMIC SURPLUSS.
        Bush then took over and with all his tax cuts put us back into a huge defecit and created the mess we are seeing today.

        By my interpretation, Clinton presided over the only “good old days” in my lifetime

      • dgh

        Heck ya bj’s all around!!!

      • RCS

        @Jay I would certainly think 92 straight months of economic expansion counts as “prosperity”. Yes, we had a surplus after Clinton, but it was also Clinton’s “everyone should own a home” policy that led to a lot of the garbage we’re dealing with right now.

      • Jay

        @RCS: Economic growth is pretty easy to come by when you operate on a defecit.
        Growth should come from within, not funded by taxpayers.

        Your rebuttal = fail

      • RCS

        Well if economic growth is easy to come by, what’s Obama’s excuse? Wait let me guess: it’s all Bush’s fault right? Your President = Fail

      • jc

        you do realize that the reason everything we buy now is made in china is because of clinton, right? that and all of our manufacturing jobs going overseas. he was terrible for this country and i’m a democrat! so is obama. he lied to us just as much as all the rest. but, we have to keep eating the poop sandwich they hand us because we can’t let the other side win. grow the f up

    • BobS

      When you have your hand in the cookie jar and don’t have to pay the price, then, yes, those were the “good ole days”. Later the piper has to be paid. At that point this coward knew he would be long gone. He gave birth to what is happening right now!

      • ML

        THANK YOU! I won’t say that Bush did it single-handedly. But his administration is the reason why we are in the mess we are in today. I hate how the Republicans blame Obama for the situation we are in today. If the Republicans would try to cooperate maybe he would have been able to get more done. This is not a dictatorship. Obama doesn’t control everything. All the bipartisanship is what’s stifling this country. Add to that all of the natural disasters we’ve had to face in the last 3 years, it just doesn’t get fixed overnight.

      • @ML

        You do realize that cooperation is a 2-way street, right?

    • Flyer

      @Redeyecat – Not completely surprising, considering years after the fall of the Soviet Union, there were (and still are) Russians who long for the “good old days” of Communist rule. There will always be people who would rather look back at an imagined, nostalgiac past, rather than accept the reality of the situation and move forward.

    • An Average Sized Mustache

      The good old days when Bush and Co. didn’t pay much attention to the CIA report titled :Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”.

    • Fender

      @Agreed. Oddly enough, Carter himself claimed he thought Bush was one of the worst presidents. I guess Carter was just in a hurry to have that mantle lifted after 20 years.

    • Alyssa

      Funny- The days of Both Bush’s, Regan are considered the Black Plague to most Americans, politics aside. Regan was an actor-in chief, Both Bush’s were morons. The last Economic Surplus we had was under Clinton-LOOK IT UP!!!!!. Or be in Denial, you guys will keep losing.

  • nini72

    Looking forward to this I really do like him! Voted for him the 2nd time!

  • Grandma Palin

    You like Bush huh? I think I might have a chance now. . .

  • BobS

    The man should be in jail for allowing his buddies to loot the American treasury!

  • Ben

    After he was informed the towers fell, he spent a few more minutes doing nothing. It should have Al Gore as President, the majority of the American people voted for him! Benjamin Harrison also got in because the electoral college, but, he was not the moron W. is. Thanks for the quadmire in Iraq W.

    • x

      if al gore (a even bigger wussy than kerry AND obama) was in the oval office when this happened, none of us would even be here today because we would ALL be blown up by the terrorists. you can malign bush all you want, but i was definately glad HE was the one in power and not al gore. give me a break…

      • Matt

        @x – “none of us would even be here today because we would ALL be blown up by the terrorists” – what’s that statement based on? Just your dislike for Al Gore? None of us will ever know whether it would have gone better or worse had Florida’s ballots in 2000 been legally counted correctly and Al Gore had been in the White House.

      • Skye

        As opposed to the coward you elected that sat in the classroom like a scared little baby reading a book upside down. But that’s the Republican party in a nutshell – cowards.

      • Ruby

        @ Skye

        For the love of God, how do Bush’s actions in the classroom make him a coward? I think it was very presidential to calmly look at the situation instead of storming out and scaring a bunch of innocent kids. And stop being so partisan. BOTH parties have screwed over this country. It was a liberal policy to have everyone own a house- and look where that got us! It basically started the recession. Republicans are also mucking up things- the debt crisis debacle was beyond ridiculous. Skye, you need to open your eyes.

      • @Skye

        You sound like a moron. To me, what is cowardly is a president who seems unwilling to make any real decisions. See: Obama

      • @matt

        do you REALLY think that AL GORE (the whiny baby man who runs around the world on his personal jet crying of “global warming”) would be the one you wanted in charge on 9/11??!?!?! wow…no thanks. was bush my #1 choice? nope..but i can assure you, i was glad he was the one up there when the shiz hit the fan. he made some mistakes, but i feel pretty sure that al gore would have rolled over and given the terrorists whatever they wanted if they promised to do it in an environmentally ‘green’ way.

      • Fender

        C’mon now matt. Don’t be so hard on Al Gore. After all, he did invent the internet.

      • JJ

        Ballots counted correctly!? Acorn stuffed the box with votes from deceased citizens and gave out free boxes of cigarettes for people to vote.

    • melanne

      Please! He had to listen to all the intelligence collected before rushing into something. If Clinton hadn’t been trying to cover up his fling with Monica L. and then committing perjury, and being impeached.. he would have seen how this was coming….

      • Dana

        And what was he supposed to do? Jump up and scare the kids? Give me a break. The guy did a good job at that time. How would any of us have handled that? I’m glad it was him. Ol’ GW…he did alright.

  • BobS

    In addition to the Middle East quagmire, I would like to thank him for the economic legacy he left us as well as the divided nation/political gridlock that he founded!

    • dgh

      I guess Bush is responsible for WWII also?

      • Ruby

        And cancer?

      • m

        Bah! I knew he was responsible for cancer!!

  • Ben

    It took President Obama to get Osama b.l. because W. was more concerned with getting the oil in Iraq than bringing O.b.l. to justice.

    • amy

      ben – you keep on thinking that! That’s what Obama wants u to think!

    • melanne

      Obummer was just lucky enough to be in office when he happened to be caught. All the hard work to get there was started by Dubya.

    • jk

      Bin Laden may have finally been taken out under Obama’s presidency, but when you consider the US has been trying to get Bin Laden since Bill Clinton was in office, claiming Obama deserves all the credit is not a logical argument. As to your earlier comment about Gore getting more popular votes than Bush, you are technically correct. If only
      Gore could have carried at least one souther state, maybe Tennessee, Gore’s own home state.

      • amy

        Thank u both!!!

    • Jessica

      I don’t understand the oil argument. Oil is still through the roof in price. So why would Bush supposedly go to the Middle East for the stuff?

  • LOL

    W = Worst Ever

    • amy

      BTW, did Obama return to Washington when he learned about the earthquake?

      • jodipo

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You are an idiot amy. Go home now

      • Jessica

        Go home? Weird….

      • Jen

        BTW, did Bush go to New Orleans after Katrina? Wait he did, after spending one more day of his vacation. He tool 200 in total.

    • melanne

      O-Obviously Inept!

  • MWeyer

    Wow, a whole page of comments and not one nutcase yet talking about how 9/11 was an inside job?

    • amy

      MWeyer – we haven’ t heard from Rosie ODonnell yet!

    • sarah

      WHAT? Please, step away from your computer. Get educated on the facts.

    • @Well….

      @sarah – Either you didn’t read the whole sentence above, or you have already drunk the conspiracy theory Kool-Aid.

    • Nutcase

      9/11 was an inside job.

      Happy now?

  • Ben

    ToAmy, Osmaba b.l. is Dead. He was shot to death by USA Navy Seals on May 1, 2011, under orders from President Barack H. Obama. Almost 10 years after 9/11/01. You keep looking for Osama b. l. if you think he’s still alive. Everyone else on the planet knows he’s dead.

    • amy

      To Ben – duh!!! Really?!!! I was referring to the fact that it was George W Bush who put the plan to get Bin Laden into action, OBama took credit for George W’s actions!!!!!! Obama should have given credit to George W. and the Navy Seal Team that risked their lives!!! I know that Bin Laden is dead!!!!! Duh!!!

      • Ben

        To Amy; IF getting Osama B.l. Was George W. Bush’s Top priority, Then he would have gotten the job done, Before we went into Iraq. Clearly, the minimum of USA combat forces deployed to Afganistan, the small amount of “boots on the ground”, meant that Osama b.l. could easy evade them and get away into Pakistan. The large amount of USA armed forces deployed to Iraq, and taken away from the hunt for Osama meant that getting him was not a top measure for W. Bush. It’s obvious why Osama evaded capture for 8 years during while W. Bush was president. Iraq, and it’s oil, were more important to George W. Bush.

      • amy

        Come on Ben, you sound like a very intelligent person, you can’t believe that George W purposely let Bin Laden escape capture? That is ridiculous!!!!

      • amy

        To Ben – sorry about the “duh”! Thanks for the conversation!

      • Jen

        Fine, if Bush gets credit for Osama, he gets credit for the economy!

  • Esox

    Let’s not remake Bush into a great President using hindsight as our only tool. I’ll just say this…I won’t be surprised if in 50 years when the documents become unclassified that the Bush Administration was responsible for preventing further attacks on our country. Iran? Dumb idea. But maybe it didn’t seem so at the time.

  • michelle

    Isn’t the point about what happened right after 9/11 in NYC.
    who cares who you like or voted for. This is what happened and he was our president during that time.
    I think he was great during that time, but he is an imperfect man, just like all presidents before and after him.
    What matters is how he feels/felt about the country.

    • Ruby

      This.

    • ree

      Exactly. I am interested to hear what he has to say. Looking at some of the comments here I am so glad that I am registered as an Independent – I don’t want to be lumped in with any of the idiots on this forum.

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