Nobody likes to be called a racist. During a live fundraising telecast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, rapper Kayne West, sitting next to Mike Myers, said to a worldwide audience that President George W. Bush doesn’t care about black people. As Myers turned to his left to look at Kanye, the camera quickly cuts away.
Of all the criticism he faced as President – getting us involved in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the events during and after 9/11 and claims that he lied about weapons about mass destruction – it was this blanket statement about being a racist because of his lack of response to Katrina that stuck with him the most.
In his new memoir, Decision Points, Bush writes, “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.”
During an interview that will air on Nov. 8 on a special called Matt Lauer Reports, Bush says, “I still feel that way… I felt ‘em when I heard ‘em, felt ‘em when I wrote ‘em and I felt ‘em when I’m listening to ‘em….”
Matt Lauer asks Bush if that was the worst moment of his presidency.
“Yes. My record was strong I felt when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And– it was a disgusting moment,” he replies.
Lauer challenges Bush, saying some people may be offended to read that in his book, taking it as the President was not saying the worst moment in his presidency was the misery of Louisiana, but instead when somebody insulted him about it.
“No – that – 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,” Bush says.
Bush will also sit down with Lauer live on the Today show in his first one-on-one interview since leaving the White House on November 10.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter