Bush: Kanye West's Race Remark Worst Moment of Presidency

W "didn't appreciate" Kanye's off-script rip

By Mac Montandon
|  Wednesday, Nov 3, 2010  |  Updated 2:32 PM CDT
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Real or Wax? Celebrities and Their Doubles

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Geroge W. Bush and Kanye West.

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As the self-identifying "decider," George W. Bush liked to say he made a lot of tough calls as president, critics be damned.

But in an interview with Matt Lauer airing next week on Nov. 8, the day before his memoir "Decision Points" hits shelves, Bush said Kanye West's claim that he "doesn't care about black people" stung sharply then -- and still does.

When Lauer noted that in Bush's memoir, the former president recalls telling Laura at the time it was the worst moment of his presidency, Bush stood by his words.

 "Yes," Bush told Lauer. "My record was strong I felt when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And — it was a disgusting moment."

Bush went on to leave no doubt that the comment still bothers him.

"I faced a lot of criticism as president," Bush told Lauer on the special prime-time show. "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 then presses the former prez, saying that makes it sound like the personal insult hurt more than watching the storm wipe out the Gulf Coast.

"I also make it clear that the misery in Louisiana affected me deeply as well," Bush responds. "There’s a lot of tough moments in the book. And it was a disgusting moment, pure and simple.”

With the interview already making headlines, Bush's book is getting a strong promotional push. And the day after the Lauer sitdown, Bush heads for Oprah's couch. If "Decision Points" doesn't hit the bestseller list, it won't be for a lack of trying -- or controversy.

Selected Reading: EW.com, Vulture, New York Times.

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