"That's a do-over that I can't do. I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess," Bush said in a joint interview with First Lady Laura Bush on ABC's "World News. ush said he never expected to be a wartime President. Despite briefings warning that Al Qaeda was ready to strike in the summer of 2001, Bush said, "I think I was unprepared for war" when the planes hit the towers on 9/11. "In other words, I didn't campaign and say, 'Please vote for me; I'll be able to handle an attack,'"
"In other words, I didn't anticipate war. Presidents - one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen," he added. Asked if Barack Obama's election was a voters' verdict on him, Bush said, "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans.
Bush professed to be unconcerned about his approval ratings hitting historic lows, or about what historians will write.
"I will leave the presidency with my head held high," Bush said.
Bush said he was thinking about writing a book when he gets back to Texas and will also be sorting out what he intends to do with the rest of his life.
As for the eventual verdict of the American people on his eight years in the Oval Office, Bush said, "I don't know. I hope they feel that this is a guy that came, didn't sell his soul for politics, had to make some tough decisions and did so in a principled way."
Laura Bush was more upbeat: "I think they think he's somebody that kept them safe for eight years. And I think - and I hear that all the time, people thanking me, telling me to thank him."