Bush Talks Economy, Ducking Shoes

By: CNN
By: CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Tuesday that he is "considering all options" in aiding the U.S. auto industry because doing nothing could lead to further economic decline.

President Bush tells CNN's Candy Crowley on Tuesday he doesn't want to worsen the U.S. economic plight.

"A disorganized bankruptcy could create enormous economic difficulties, further economic difficulties," he said. "I feel a sense of obligation to my successor to make sure there is a not a huge economic crisis. Look, we're in a crisis now. We're in a huge recession, but I don't want to make it even worse."

However, the president noted, it's important to make sure he is not wasting taxpayers' money.

"I'm mindful of not putting good money after bad, so we're working through some options," he said. "What you don't want to do is spend a lot of taxpayers' money and then have the same old stuff happen again, and again and again." Watch Bush talk about his concerns »

Bush said there was no one person or event to blame for the recent U.S. economic woes. Of the housing and financial markets, he said, "The whole system became inebriated."

"I'm not really happy about the fact there have been excesses in the financial markets which are affecting hard-working people and affecting their retirement accounts. Having said that, I'm very confident that with time, the economy will come out and grow, and people's wealth will return," he said.

Bush also addressed a Sunday incident in which Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw a shoe at him during a news conference with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

"I didn't have much time to reflect on anything, I was ducking and dodging," Bush said.

The journalist was "looking for notoriety," Bush said, adding that authorities shouldn't "overact" in their treatment of him. Watch reaction to the 'shoe-icide attack' »

"First of all, it's got to be one of the most weird moments of my presidency," he said. "Here I am, getting ready to answer questions from a free press in a democratic Iraq, and a guy stands up and throws his shoe. And it was bizarre, and it was an interesting way for a person to express himself."

He added, "I'm not angry with the system. I believe that a free society is emerging, and a free society is necessary for our own security and peace."

On Iraq, Bush said the decision to go to war was by far the most difficult one he made in the Oval Office. He also said he "listened to a lot of people" -- even some in his administration who told him the war was not working.

"I listened very carefully to them," Bush said. "I came to a different conclusion."


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