"I think it was a repudiation of Republicans," Bush said during an interview with ABC News that aired Monday. "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me."
But he said he thought most people voted for the president-elect because they "decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy."
"In other words, they made a conscious choice to put him in as president," he said.
Bush said his party's nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, had "a tough headwind" for two reasons -- the swooning economy and the difficulty for a party to retain the White House for three straight terms.
"Obviously the economic situation made it awfully difficult for John McCain to get a message out," Bush said. "And I felt that Barack Obama ran a very disciplined campaign" and inspired voters.
McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate helped him, Bush said, because it "energized the party."
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