Former President George W. Bush admits in his memoir “Decision Points” that his 2003 “Mission Accomplished” speech and his demeanor in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina were some of the professional and personal mistakes that he made. In his first one-on-one television interview since leaving the White House, the former president sat down with Matt Lauer and opened up about his regrets.
Bush looked back on May 1, 2003, when he stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier under a banner saying “Mission Accomplished” and declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, as a statue of Saddam Hussein was brought crashing down.
“No question it was a mistake,” Bush told Matt Lauer of the scene that still reverberates seven years later as the war raged on. “If I had to do it all over again, which you don’t get to do when you’re the president, you know, I’d have said, ‘Good going, men and women, great mission’ or something.”