June 9th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
7 years ago

Laura Bush applauds Clinton, has advice for Michelle Obama

Laura Bush addresses the press at the Presidential Palace in Kabul Sunday.
Laura Bush addresses the press at the Presidential Palace in Kabul Sunday.

(CNN) – First Lady Laura Bush said Monday that as a veteran of the rigors of the campaign trail herself, she "admired Hillary's grit and strength."

"I know what it’s like to run those campaigns, to be the candidate and how very difficult it is both emotionally and physically,” Bush told ABC News. “It's a huge endurance, process of endurance, and so I'll have to say I have a lot of admiration for her endurance and strength."

"I know it's hard," Mrs. Bush said, "It's hard to do that and I think she did great."

Bush also defended Michelle Obama over a controversial comment that drew criticism from many conservative pundits – but offered caution for the wife of presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Earlier this year, Michelle Obama told the crowd at a primary season campaign event that "for the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country." (WATCH what Michelle Obama said)

Later, she said her remarks had been misinterpreted, and that she had been referring to how proud she was that Americans were engaging in the political process as never before. (WATCH: Michelle Obama responds to her misinterpreted remarks.)

"I think she probably meant 'I'm more proud,'" said Laura Bush Monday, adding that "you have to be very careful in what you say" when you’re campaigning.

"That's one of the things you learn and that's one of the really difficult parts both of running for president, and for being the spouse of the president, and that is everything you say is looked and in many cases misconstrued."


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Laura Bush • Michelle Obama
soundoff (336 Responses)
  1. Andy

    It is interesting to hear Clinton supporters saying they will now vote for McCain. It kinda makes you wonder why they were supporting Hillary. There must be some diconnnect with these people about why you elect a public official. It is normally because you want them to institute and support policies which are in what you believe to be the country's best interest. If you were going to vote for Clinton but now you're going to vote McCain, you cannot possibly be voting on the issues. If that's the way you do it, by all means vote for teh candidate you think is coolest or who looks the most like you, then suffer through another four years of war and failed economic policy.

    June 9, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. Will, NYC

    It's funny to see all these freeper men coming on this site posting as 'Margaret from FL" and Karen from Pennsyvania" (Always swing states) and then professiong that as a woman they are so offended by Barack Obama they would vote for McCain, a two timing, crippled wife abandoning, women's rights denying mysogynist. As if we couldn't see through that. Women aren't stupid.

    June 9, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Guy

    "I'm REALLY proud of my country!!!!!!!!!"... is what she said. How many times does this have to be corrected???? Are people that stupid that they can't follow that?

    June 9, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Dave in NYC

    Attn, CNN you printed the quote inaccurately:

    Earlier this year, Michelle Obama told the crowd at a primary season campaign event that "for the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country."

    Michelle Obama said "for the first time in my adult life, I'm REALLY proud of my country."

    Which kinda makes Laura Bushe's comment a non-story, doesn't it"

    "I think she probably meant 'I'm more proud,'" said Laura Bush Monday, adding that "you have to be very careful in what you say" when you’re campaigning.

    Ahem, that *IS* what she said

    June 9, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Nana5

    I know you won't print this since I AM NOT NOW NOR WILL I EVER BE A OBAMANATION SUPPORTER - HOWEVER, I will never, never, never, never, never support or vote for Hussein Obama. He will destroy the US and all you fools with the wool pulled over your eyes will soon see. And yes, 8 more years of war would be MUCH, MUCH better than even 4 years of Obamanation!!!!!!!!!!! Please understand – TRUE Hillary supporters WILL NOT EVER SUPPORT OBAMANATION. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. All you crazies who jumped ship for him were never supporters of Hillary or she would not have been treated the way she was.

    GO MCCAIN '08. We're right with you. CNN might be pushing Obamanation but TRUE Hillary supporters are now 100% McCain. Even if HRC is the VP nominee they will not get my vote.

    June 9, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. chrls

    do you guys really think..HC can come back and win in 2012 if BO looses..wake up peoples..we want forget..you will need us to..i'll love sitting back and wait fours yrs for her to run again..just to show you bitter peoples we can play that game to..you need us and we need you..its your call

    June 9, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Becky

    "Be careful what you say," is pretty much what Laura is saying.

    I respect Obama and Michele for saying things that nobody else will. Michele was implying that there's a CHANGE coming in politics and that she's happy to be a part of a campaign. Obama didn't waste his time attacking his opponents in petty ways; Clinton did that. Obama stayed true to the issues.

    Americans need to stay true to the issues, too. Someone had to the win the nomination.

    June 9, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. DIANA

    I WONDER HOW PROUD LAURA IS OF HER HUSBAND FOR KILLING OVER 4,000 PEOPLE?

    SHE OF ALL THE PEOPLE SHOULD NOT GIVE ADVICE TO MRS.OBAMA.

    June 9, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. Alice

    Thanks, Laura, for your graciousness.
    I didn't want to believe that this sounding board could be so aggressively mean-spirited. I was hoping for a more civil dialogue even with those who disagree. But I find that the contributors here have nothing substantive to be upset about. Nothing about how the candidates ideas on health care or education will impact them personally. A reader likes to relate to the characters, perhaps learn something about themselves, or another perspective that can help them make a decision. All I read on this site is anger over mis-speaks and biases toward women and/or blacks. Too bad. We are missing an opportunity to really be a part of how our country runs. To get our concerns and ideas out there for the candidates to see. No wonder the campaigns and the media are so tabloid oriented. We feed them encouragement. If you want a smart leader. It's time you act smart. And start by asking yourself what have you been listening to for the last 20 years? From the tone of your comments, you could not have been listening to anything that broadens your perspective, that opens your mind. Did you ever think that it's because of what Obama may or may not have heard that he's determined to make a change?
    And if this dialogue is a stunt by Obama opponents to stir up trouble, how can you call yourself a proud American? That is the most un-American behavior there is. And to all of the Obama readers, don't engage in this negative conversation. Follow your leader. He fought the nasty publicity with a strong will, the truth and a positive outlook.
    To all of you I suggest that you read everything you can about both candidates, listen to what they have to say, then make up your minds. All of this name calling is so childish and counter-productive unless, of course, you are indeed, either sexist, racist or both.

    June 9, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Petro

    Now time for swiftboating..........Michelle Obama will be a great first lady and they have a very nice family that America will be proud of...

    Obama 08,12

    Michelle 16, 20

    sasha 24,28

    malia 32,36.

    lol, so long as Americans are not lied to and dying in an evil wars!

    June 9, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Crush Rush

    What a sad excuse for an American.

    June 9, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Michelle crying

    Michelle Obama is still crying over having to repay her student loans to Princeton. She is finally proud to be an American.

    And we are supposed to think that this couple is one of us? Please!

    John McCain has served this country and never complaineld like Michelle Obama. I plan on supporting McCain in the fall. The democrats did not want my vote to count in Michigan in the spring, so the will not get my vote in the fall.

    June 9, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. NORA, FLORIDA

    LOL @ these Hillary supporters who feel that they are doing themselves a favor for voting for McCain. These are obviously folks without any sons. And if you have sons and vote for another 100 years, then Child Protective Services should be knocking @ your door for attempted M_ _d_ _ charges.

    June 9, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. JfromNC

    CNN, you are so unethical! You have Michelle Obama's statement in quotes, but the quote is not accruate. Shame on you! You might as well be the National Enquirer...

    June 9, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. Sherri

    Thank you, Mrs. Bush. These are great comments. I'm a steadfast Democrat, a strong supporter of Senator Obama, and a thankful American. Republican or Democrat we are all Americans and it is beautiful when our first lady reaches out with advice and kind words. That only makes our country stronger. It is time for the great divides to unite under the principals that make this country the incredible place it is. Again, thank you Mrs. Bush.

    June 9, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Sarah

    As an African American woman, I agree 100% with what Michelle said (before correction!)...

    You guys need to understand what it means to be a daughter/ son of slaves and be treated as less than a human. This feeling may not be shared by Laura Bush or others attacking Michelle...

    Obama's presidency is a healing not only for me and other black people, but it is the best gift we can offer to our children who will grow up as equal citizens.

    Thank you educated and civilized America for making this happen

    June 9, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. j williamson

    Darlin, where were you when we needed a few good words (for Hillary) during the primary-season?

    June 9, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. Ralph

    The only advice she should be giving is to vote Democrat. Seems Bush has been lying pretty low, and his wife is the talking head anymore.

    June 9, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Helen, NY

    Calimar, Get a life....

    June 9, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Former Republican

    RJ, stop with Rushy and Hannazi talk!!

    June 9, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. prado

    The media and crypto Obama political pundits are praising Hillary's speech, because they are scared that her supporters may get enraged and vote for McCain. It is so funny to see people like Gloria Borger and Brazille now praising Hillary.

    June 9, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Time to move on

    Its unfortunate that some Clinton's supporters cannot still cast past behind them and look straight into the future.They keep on dwelling on the past,this election is not about candidates but if you make it to be so,becareful what you wish for in Mcsame.
    OBAMA GO ON,GOD BLESS AMERICA

    June 9, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. joe

    hillary,

    i love you...and you are one strong woman but i own my soul

    and i will not vote for obama...

    thanks to

    gloria berger, roland martin, cooper anderson, jack cafferty, chris mathews

    for their unobjective, one sided pro obama reporting and hate to clinton..i realized i was getting half the story

    i will now support mccain..i can live with him for four years

    thanks cnn for dividing our democratic party

    June 9, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Sue

    WOW

    The Hillary supporters were always the most hate filled posts I've ever seen and it's still going strong. I just don't get it.
    Obama won fair and square.

    Get a life people and Grow UP !

    June 9, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. carole

    Hillary should accept McCain's offer for VP-a ticket that would give us confidence our country is being led by experienced people and the voters for Hillary would vote for the ticket-a WIN WIN situation

    June 9, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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