Bush Still Thinks Kanye West Was Out of Line

Never mind the war in Iraq. Bush gets sensitive around pop stars.

By Jamilah King Nov 03, 2010

In a recent interview on the Today show, former President Georgie H.W. Bush whined about being called a racist. In a sit-down with Matt Lauer, Bush recalled the moment in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, when West [infamously told](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIUzLpO1kxI&feature=player_embedded) television viewers the then-president "doesn’t care about black people." The singer was widely criticized for his outburst, and later apologized. But the former president apparently still has feelings. Forget the Iraq War or a nearly unprecedented economic meltdown. He called the comment "disgusting" and an "all-time low" in his presidency: From [Gawker:](http://gawker.com/5680259/bush-says-the-worst-moment-of-his-presidency-involved-kanye-west) > MATT LAUER: > About a week after the storm hit NBC aired a telethon asking for help for the victims of Katrina. We had celebrities coming in to ask for money. And I remember it vividly because I hosted it. And at one part of the evening I introduced Kanye West. Were you watching? > > PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: > Nope. > > MATT LAUER: > You remember what he said? > > PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: > > Yes, I do. He called me a racist. > > MATT LAUER: > Well, what he said, "George Bush doesn’t care about black people." > > PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: > That’s – "he’s a racist." And I didn’t appreciate it then. I don’t appreciate it now. It’s one thing to say, "I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business." It’s another thing to say, "This man’s a racist." I resent it, it’s not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency. > > MATT LAUER: > This from the book. "Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust." You go on. "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." > > PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: > Yeah. I still feel that way as you read those words. 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: > You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your Presidency? > > PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: > Yes. My record was strong I felt when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And- it was a disgusting moment. > > MATT LAUER: > I wonder if some people are going to read that, now that you’ve written it, and they might give you some heat for that. And the reason is this- > > PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: > Don’t care. > > MATT LAUER: > Well, here’s the reason. You’re not saying that the worst moment in your Presidency was watching the misery in Louisiana. You’re saying it was when someone insulted you because of that. > > PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: > 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.