ABC News interviews 82-year-old George H. W. Bush:
Gibson: We're in an age when the approval rating of the president in the polls is in the- around 40 percent. I won't ask to — you to comment on that because —And what does Bush 41 think of the coming elections?
Bush: Except I'd like to say I think it's a hell of a lot better than 33 percent.
Gibson: It's — it's up some. And the approval rating of the Congress is way down —
Bush: Yeah —
Gibson: — in the 20s. Does that bespeak an American disillusionment with institutions, that we ought to worry about?
Bush: Oh, I don't think so, it seems to me we go through this from time to time, I remember the numbers of Congress being very low, in one of the years when I was there.
Gibson: Tell me which is harder — to be President and to be subjected to the criticisms that come with the job, or to watch your son be subjected to those same criticisms.
Bush:Not a close call. Far worse is watching your son come under fire. Far worse. And we had it to some degree with my second son in Florida who's finishing his second term, Jeb, the governor. And we've had it with the president when he was governor, and now as president. And it's not even a close call. It is not even a close call, when you're responsible for your own acts, when you're the President, you, you take it. Now, I'm just a — just a sentimental … father, who doesn't like it when his kids are criticized.
And it comes with the — I'm not saying it doesn't go with the territory. But you know there's a lotta Bush-bashing, there's a lotta people out there that have nothing good to say about it. I'd hate to single out a newspaper for example but, I can't remember the New York Times ever writing anything positive about our son. And every, we all know that it's a very liberal paper and all of that. But it's, Barbara says, "why do you read it, why do you sit in here complaining all morning?" I say I just wanna get it out of the way. And, but it hurts far worse when, when your son is criticized than when I used to be.
Bush: I think we hold the Senate and I think we can hold the House— You know, we're right in the middle of the, of the firestorm right now. Last week was the Woodward book. This week it's Foley, and Congress and Congressional ethics. Tomorrow it'll be something else. In even, so, three weeks, four — a month, in politics goes like this, but, there's a lotta time to correct things, a lotta time for good stuff to happen. There may be a lotta stuff that'll, that will embarrass the Democrats. So who knows. But all I'm saying is, it's not over by a long shot, and I, I hope that we hold the House, it's gonna be closer. And I'm convinced we'll hold the Senate.Lots of people are talking about an "October Surprise" but I think we could be in for a "November Surprise" - a last-minute shock story just days ahead of the election, which is later proven false. Been done before, ya know...