President Bush told Brit Hume on "FOX News Sunday" that he refused to "bail out my political party" by withdrawing troops "during the darkest days of Iraq."
"During the darkest days of Iraq, people came to me and said, 'You're creating incredible political difficulties for us,'" the current president said as his term draws to a close. "And I said, 'Oh, really? What do you suggest I do?' And some suggested retreat, pull out of Iraq. But I had faith that freedom exists in people's souls and therefore, if given a chance, democracy and Iraqi-style democracy could survive and work," the president said. "I didn't compromise that principle for the sake of trying to, you know, bail out my political party."
Former President George H. W. Bush, also interviewed, praised his son for the decision. "You can make a tough decision and stay with it," adding to Hume, "And he's been tested unlike any other president with 9/11. So he passed the test."