President George W. Bush endured a lot of criticism in his day, but he says that when he heard Kanye West accusing him of not caring about black people after Hurricane Katrina, "it was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency.”
It was a pretty harsh line. True? That's up for debate.
Bush taped an interview with Matt Lauer that will air on a special prime time Matt Lauer Reports on NBC November 8. It’s to promote his new book, Decision Points.
We're curious to see what his ghostwriter has to say.
The subjects of the interview were wide-ranging, but the former President was very passionate on the subject of West’s criticism of the way Bush handled the Katrina aftermath, according to quotes from the interview NBC released.
“He called me a racist,” Bush tells Lauer. “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.”Kanye made news for being outspoken long before he hijacked Taylor Swift's speech at the MTV VMAs. But who knew that one line ate at the Prez so badly.
Lauer quotes from Bush’s book: “Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust.” Lauer adds, “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'm racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low.’
Bush responds: “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.
Lauer: “You told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your Presidency?”
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.”
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 — “
Bush: [interrupting] “Don’t care.”
Lauer: “Well, here’s the reason. You’re not saying that the worst moment in your Presidency was the misery in Louisiana. It was when someone insulted you because of that.”
Bush: “No, and I also make it very 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.”