According to Entertainment Weekly, President George W. Bush said hearing Kanye West say, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” was "one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency.”
Entertainment Weekly reports Bush has taped an interview with Matt Lauer that will air on a special prime-time Matt Lauer Reports on NBC Nov. 8, and while the subjects of the interview are wide-ranging, the former president is very passionate on the subject of West’s criticism of the way Bush handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. NBC has released some quotations from the interview.
“He called me a racist,” Bush tells Lauer. “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.”
Bush is appearing on the show to promote his book, Decision Points. Lauer quotes from Bush’s new 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 was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low.’
Lauer also says, “You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your presidency?”
Bush replied, “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 later goes on to say, “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.”
Bush responded by saying, “No, 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.”
The full interview will air on the Matt Lauer Reports special on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m., the day before the former president’s book is published.