WHEN: Friday, March 14th at 7PM ET
WHERE: CNBC's "Kudlow & Company"
Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with President Bush on CNBC's "Kudlow & Company." During the interview with CNBC's Larry Kudlow, President Bush discusses the economy, high oil prices, the housing crisis, the credit crunch, the Presidential race, the Spitzer scandal, Iraq and the war on terror and the controversial Pentagon tanker deal, among other topics.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
GEORGE W BUSH: IN PROGRESS) --swift action, along with JP Morgan, to help bring some order to the financial markets.
LARRY KUDLOW: You have said, time and again, that you oppose government bailouts. That you oppose the use of taxpayer money to bailouts. I want to ask you if that opposition applies to these large banks?
GEORGE W BUSH: Well, these are unusual times. I-- these are times that-- where-- there's a confluence of housing market risks, and financial risks, that require unusual action. And-- it's very important for the-- American people to know that the fed and the treasury carefully weigh-- the necessary to bring some order and stability versus moral hazard. And I think that they've struck the right balance in this case. Particularly when people look at the details of the transaction.
LARRY KUDLOW:When did you first learn of the Bear Sterns' (PH)-- problem, and the actions to be taken?
GEORGE W BUSH: Oh, I was aware-- yesterday that the Treasury was thinking about-- taking some actions. I spoke-- they finalized their deal, evidently, late last night. So I talked to Secretary Paulson (PH) this morning.
LARRY KUDLOW: Does the Treasury Department extend any credit lines to this? I mean, the Federal Reserve is putting liquidity in, as they do. What's the role of the Treasury here?
GEORGE W BUSH: I think the Treasury was just part of making sure that the transaction was done in such a way as to balance stability and-- and moral hazard.
LARRY KUDLOW: All of this, of course, takes the so called credit crisis to a new low. So I want to ask you, yesterday-- House Financial Services chairman, Barney Frank (PH), unveiled a new plan. To use the FHA with a huge expansion for-- purchasing mortgages. Even mortgages from delinquent borrowers. Some people are saying it's $300 billion. It might cost the taxpayers about 20 billion when it's all done. Have you decided whether you would support Mr. Frank, or whether you would veto his--