Question: What will be the legacy of George W. Bush?
Mitt Romney: Well there will be things that are great accomplishments . . . I think we will recognize that he kept us safe these last few years, and that was not easy to do. He fought for the Patriot Act. He made sure that when Al Qaeda was calling, we were listening. He made sure that terrorists that were caught, we interrogated to find out what they knew so we could protect our country. He kept us safe. That’s the first responsibility of a president. Secondly, he went after the guys that went after us. No more in this world do you say, “Hey, we can go after America and nothing happens.” He made sure people realize there are consequences for attacking us. They attacked us at the U.S.S. Cole. They attacked us in Saudi Arabia. They attacked us in our . . . in African embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. And actually they attacked our Marines in Lebanon. We didn’t respond. And finally when George Bush was president and they attacked us on 9/11, we did respond in a major and aggressive way, and they know there are consequences for attacking us. His commitment to education and “No Child Left Behind”, I also support. And his effort to help people get prescription drugs I think was a good effort, although I think we should’ve reformed Medicare as part of the process because the Medicare Part D alone, I’m afraid, added a huge new entitlement that I think will not be a positive part of his legacy. There are other elements that were not as successful. I wish we would have been able to see the reform of entitlements. That just didn’t happen. He tried, that was unsuccessful. And of course the conflict in Iraq was not superbly managed. Following the collapse of Saddam Hussein, we just did not have the right level of troop strength. We did not have the rules of engagement or the . . . the plans and preparations in place to . . . to have Iraq become stable in the timeframe it should have become stable. So there will be pluses and minuses; but overall we’ll know that this is a president who did what he thought was right for America at every turn.
Recorded on: 11/26/07