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President Bush: The Florida recount created an "ugly mood"

Making the rounds in a series of exit interviews, President Bush today told C-Span he believes his transition 8 years ago was affected by the protracted Florida recount fight.

Asked whether the recount had put him at a disadvantage in taking over the White House, Bush said he believed the 35-day tussle "set kind of an ugly mood amongst some in the electorate. In other words, the election was -- in their minds, was in doubt. That made it harder ...to unify the country after the election."

But Bush said he's looking forward to watching Barack Obama take office: "I anticipate with great interest watching an historic moment, the swearing in of the 44th president, who happens to be an African American male," he said. "And that is a big deal for America. And I will have a front row seat."

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