Bush claims 'good, solid record'

January 13, 2009 8:30:49 AM PST
Gathering his Cabinet together one last time, President George W. Bush declared his administration had achieved "a good, solid" record and gave thanks to both his closest aides and Americans across the country. "I tell people I leave town with a great sense of accomplishment and my head held high," Bush told a small pool of reporters Tuesday at the end of his final meeting with his top advisers. Before the media were allowed in, a burst of applause could be heard from the Cabinet Room.

A day after his final news conference, and a day before his farewell address, Bush used the occasion to again define his legacy in his own terms.

"This administration has had a good, solid record, and I'm very proud of it," said Bush, who sat between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

A serious-looking Bush then defended his statement in quick-fire fashion. He cited improvements in test scores among minority students, a Medicare prescription drug benefit, lower taxes, a reorganized military, declining drug use among teenagers and new trade deals.

More broadly, Bush touted his "Freedom Agenda," referring to both the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the efforts to combat poverty and disease overseas.

Most of all, Bush said, his administration has worked to protect the country from harm.

"All in all, this administration has relied upon the great compassion of the American people, the sacrifice of those who wear the uniform," Bush said. "And so we leave town honored to have served."

The president also thanked his Cabinet members for serving when they could have "taken the easy road and stayed home."

President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn in as president next Tuesday.


Load Comments