June 9th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
10 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. Carol, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Another reason I admire Laura Bush.

    How refreshing to hear a voice of sensibility and reason; her message to take us above the fray (at least for those who aren't deaf with anger).

    Additionally, Mrs. Bush didn't rent out the Lincoln bedroom for generous $upporters.

    Democrats, please take a lesson out of the Republican party's book and unite.

    Obama '08

    June 9, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. Charles-Dallas, TX

    Hillary don't take the cheese!

    June 9, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Joe Regis

    Her daughter may have had a word with her.

    She is also a closet Obama.

    June 9, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Phil in KC

    Talk about subtle campaigning! The message is clear to anyone who pays attention, though. She is asking disaffected Clinton voters to vote Republican. And, while she appears to be defending Michelle Obama, she is, in reality, taking a swipe at her. How disengenous.

    June 9, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Holly

    I'm for Hillary
    I'm for Obama
    I'm not so sure on a joint ticket however
    Laura could have done a far better job than that poor excuse for a man George
    McCain is a minipulating blowhard and just like George has noones intrests but his own at heart (especilly ours!)

    June 9, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. ACC

    Laura Bush's comments are not going to help her husbands 28%
    approval rating. nice try anyway.

    June 9, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    A good republican strategy to influence disappointed Hillary supporters.

    June 9, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Sue

    I am a highly educated female in a male dominated job. I have voted in EVERY election since 18, it is my civic duty. Staying home in November is not an option for me – the women in the past history fought to give me the right to vote.

    I play golf (and enjoy it).

    I am not afraid to say that I am not at all impressed by HRC and her supporters. I will NEVER vote for anyone because they are black, white, male or female. I will vote for whom I think is the best for the job.

    I will NOT unite with the women to get HRC in just because she is a female. To me, this is absurd and sophomoric.

    June 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Barbara

    How very gracious of Laura Bush to say this about Hillary & why shouldn't she? She's a woman who's admiring another woman with what she knows to be a very grueling experience.

    I believe Michelle Obama's explanation & why shouldn't I? I don't swallow everything the media throws at us in their greedy zeal to get their scoops & ratings. Am certainly not of the ditto-head cult & I actually pity those who are.

    I am a true Hillary supporter but I AM going to vote for Obama as she asked us to. I'm also a true Democrat who has never or ever will vote a Republican into the Presidency!

    June 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. To "Army Wife"

    Was your husband drafted or did he join voluntarily because he wanted to keep his country safe?

    How quickly you forget the more than 3,000 innocent souls lost on 9/11. The thousands of heroic Americans who fight (and gave their lives) in Iraq joined voluntarily (there’s no draft, remember?) primarily because THEY didn’t forget!

    June 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Holly

    *****spell check please*****
    I'm for Hillary
    I'm for Obama
    I'm not so sure on a joint ticket however
    Laura could have done a far better job than that poor excuse for a man George
    McCain is a manipulating blowhard and just like George has no ones interests but his own at heart (especially ours!)

    June 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |

    I think Hillary Clinton should be commended for her fight for the white house. She put her all into it and that is nothing to be ashamed off. I think for the first time she might be more popular than Bill. The fact is now we need to elect Obama for President. I know there are some Republicans claiming to be Hillary Supporter or Obama supporters on here trying to divide us. But here is the truth in 2000 before Bush went into office gas was $24 a barrell now it's $140+. In 2000 there were no wars, now there are two. In 2000 we had a surplus, now we have a 9 TRILLION DOLLAR DEFECIT. In 2000 we were happy and look at by the world as the example, now we are becoming a joke. What ever you thoughts or feeling are about OBAMA there is one thing that can be ignored. When Democrats run the WHITE HOUSE we are all happier. So get out and vote for OBAMA can we really afford to lose for more years?

    June 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Anna, SW Missouri

    You know, a lot of people say "I am really proud" meaning "I am more proud than I was before" That doesn't mean that she was never proud, just more proud. Get over it folks. We all say things like that all of the time.

    June 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Sheryl

    Why are the Hillary supporters hard to sway to Sen. Obama? I was disgusted with the back stabbing and whining that was so commonly displayed by the Democratic party. I especially had my fill of Bill Richardson. I am NOT going to vote for the Democractic nominee just to unite the party. Both Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama have a lot of work to do before either receives my vote.

    June 9, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. good luck

    Bitter HRC supporters who vote for McSame will get exactly what they deserve. That childish and spiteful choice just shows me even more that HRC's campaign, from day one, was about Billary and not the USA. If she was the nominee, I would have dragged myself to vote for her because her values are closest to those of my chosen candidate.
    Be prepared to send your sons and daughters off for the next 4/8/12 years and to lose rights that we currently enjoy.

    June 9, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. NO Bush/McCain 08

    McSame stood 95% in Senate votes with McBush!

    June 9, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Seattle Voter

    I am a democrat, a professional (4 year college degree) and a woman. I am a Hillary supporter and should both for OBAMA in November. Unfortunately, OBAMA's supporters said a lot of unpleasant things to Hillary therefore, I WILL VOTE FOR McCain in November. I would rather vote for someone who has a long record whether GOOD OR BAD because at least I already know what to expect.

    June 9, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Jen

    To "Army Wife": Was your husbad "drafted" or did he join voluntarily?

    CUT THE DRAMA! You are no Army wife!

    June 9, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. joe

    And now here she is looking for Clinton's votes......wow, sorry Laura, we already have a candidate!

    June 9, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. Jay in Tx

    Not all Obama supporters hates or dislikes Hillary, I for one respect everything she was able to do, I respect her husband for his past presidency and I would've have supported Hillary if she would have won the nomination. Why? Because Hillary and Obama have the SAME stance on the issues that effect me the most. I won't beg HRC supporters to vote for Obama, you are entitled to your own opinion and vote. But I will say that you will be doing yourself, Hillary, and America a disservice by voting for McCain. McCain is an honorable man, but so was Brutus. And as for Mrs. Bush, good advice, even if you're married to an ambitious man.

    June 9, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    I'm really kind of confused by all of the poeple who will vote for McCain over Obama because he's "qualified" or because of "experience".

    History has shown this hasn't been much of a measure of how a president will do. Infact, it's almost the opposite. Some of the best presidents we've ever had have been some of the least experienced as far as their time in government work to take that position. Abraham Lincoln comes to mind, as he was in his first time in the legislature. The presidents with the most experience, like Van Buren, Nixon, etc... have ended up being some of the worst presidents in the eyes of history.

    People that use experience as their measure may want to look at the history of the presidents in the past and their skill coming into the position if they're going to use that as their measure for who to vote for. History has shown the opposite is true.

    June 9, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. richard

    She was proud now???? Yes becasue her husband was running for President. Obama's are NOT true American's.

    Hillary Supporter for McCain- A true American!

    June 9, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. DMAC in ID

    The old saying "birds of a feather flock together" to me fits Obama and his friends of the last 20 yrs. How much has rubbed off on him and he still believes. We have no way of knowing at this time what is in his mind. Maybe not till it is tolate. He scares me way to badly to vote for him, and so does McCain. I am praying for an Independent with some stature to hurry up and get into the running.

    June 9, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. Obama /Oval Office.

    Bill McCall -Do you recall how many speaking mistakes McShame has been informed of ?One of his mistakes 5 minutes after quoting it he never remembered he said that .
    Everyone of them have made errors in their speeches so why blame Michelle just because you don't like her and want to stick it to her.
    We would be making errors if we were speaking .
    Its move on and find ways to help this country instead of elementery nit picking .

    June 9, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Justme WV

    Laura Bush???? Get a grip...You or your kind have never experienced what Mrs Obama was experiencing at the moment she made her statement. If was a profound statement at that...I feel the same way and guess what – I am a veteran of the US Army, served proudly, knowing that some of my immediate supervisors were either racist or sexist or both. Leave Michelle alone! She doesnt need your advise.

    June 9, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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