Bush: Kanye West insult was ‘the all-time low’
Former President still angry at rapper for saying he didn’t care about black people
Former President George W Bush has revealed that the moment when Kanye West suggested he was a racist during a 2005 telethon appeal for the victims of Hurricane Katrina was the low point of his White House years.
In a taped interview for the US morning news show Today, Bush said he couldn't bear to think about the "disgusting moment" when the rapper went off-script in a bizarre, and frequently incoherent, rant which ended with the statement: "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
When Today host Matt Lauer asked him if it was the worst moment of his presidency, Bush said: "Yes. My record was strong, I felt, when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And - it was a disgusting moment.
"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," he added.
Bush gave the interview - his first since leaving office - to promote his autobiography, Decision Points. It is due to be broadcast on NBC next Monday.
In the book itself, Bush says: "Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust... The suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low."
Lauer, who also hosted the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser when Kanye West made the remark, warns Bush that he might be criticised for putting a personal insult at the top of his list of worst moments.
"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. People might give you some heat for that."
Bush responds: "The misery in Louisiana affected me deeply as well."