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. paul oregon

    sounds like mrs bush is pertty level headed. to bad her husband
    didnt talk more to her.

    June 9, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. my 2 cents

    'd give Obama a chance… but so MUCH rancor and vitriol from his camp. And so much arrogance and boastfulness from the great Obama himself.

    MY moment of defection:
    Early On the polls showed that the majority of supporters for HRC would gladly vote for Obama.

    Then Obama used that as a weapon to divide the party. We went National and very arrogantly and presumptuously declared that HE could WIN back the HRC supporters… but not the other way around.

    SEE? words DO matter. And How was that so? After all don't the issues and the values and ideals of the party matter to the Obama supporters? Besides, as I then blogged- Obama supporters have MORE to lose with a McCain win, then us older, more conservative HRC demographic. I was seldom posted and abusively attacked if I managed to sneak in a comment.


    Millions of other Democrats have THEIR moment.

    June 9, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Justin from New Mexico

    It makes sense that people who are campaigning non stop would have a slip of words or two. I think it is disgusting that watchdogs lean on every word, looking for such mistakes so they can pounce. When did it stop becoming about the issues? It is sick to think that Obama and his wife "aren't patriotic enough." Get over it people! Most people I know of aren't feeling patriotic right now. We are sick of the direction our country has chosen to go and since we can't seem to do anything about it yet, are we expected to sit and be proud about it? I love my country because of where we stood once, but no one can decide whether I feel patriotic or not. Maybe once we get a sensible person in the White House will I feel proud to be an American again. I can't wait to see how many of you will spin this comment.

    June 9, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Rasheeda




    June 9, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Anna

    WOW Laura, you proved more generous in person than your husband.

    June 9, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Generation X

    McCain supporters (HRC supporters also)- I suggest watching Frontline on PBS which featured, "Bush's War" or you can watch it online. Next here is a quote from McCain back in 2004,"He is in effect deputy commander in chief," McCain said of Cheney, whom some Democratic critics contend is really calling the shots in the White House. "We are very fortunate the president relies on the counsel of this man," McCain added, praising Cheney's "resolve, experience, patriotism," and calling him "indispensable and very debonair." McBush for third term!

    June 9, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Joi

    Mrs. Bush should have given that same advice to her husband, Pres. Bush.

    June 9, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Tim in California

    Interesting that Ms. Bush is offering suggestions to others when she's married to probably the worst president the country has ever seen. One wonders why she never offered suggestions to her husband about being honest. There might be a 100,000 less dead around the world.
    It must be difficult for a spouse to know that she's married to such a scroundrel.....and this didn't start when he was elected...he's been a ner' do well and reprobate his entire adult life.

    June 9, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. Former Democrat

    Barack also originally claimed that Reverend Wright had been "taken out of context....."

    June 9, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Ramon

    It's not so much that Hillary didn't win; it's that I will never vote for Obama. He is too far to that left even for this life-long dem. When I saw how the "Rules" committee stole delegates from her, and how they all scammered to Obama despite that fact that she won more votes, it reminded me of 2000. I was soooo angry then that I said "we deserve what we get". Now we've done the same! Why am I voting for McCain over another Dem? Because the Dem party has a festering ulcer that they won't even attempt to heal.

    June 9, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Michelle

    MO also stated that she wouldn't vote for Hillary and would have to think about it.

    It seems that MO was unwilling to support Hillary as the Democratic candidate but expects everyone else to blindly support Barack.

    It won't happen.

    By the way, Wolf, you need to hire a new copy editor. I have been reading several CNN entries, and I was stunned at the errors.

    June 9, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Former republican

    thanks mrs. bush, but maybe you should keep quiet and concentrate on keeping your husband from destroying the country or his party further than he already has.

    in fact, maybe he shouldn't do ANYTHING between now and january!

    i will be voting democrat this year.

    June 9, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Bill

    Mrs. Bush is a most gracious First Ladybot.

    June 9, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. joe

    wow, why is she talking? Time to demonize and show the negative side of Obama's while praising Hillary who lost.
    It is Obama's platform not Hillary's. Give me a break!
    Stop making Hillary news everyday even when not necessary and overshadow Obama's victory.

    June 9, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Betty

    He he he – she was a democrat until she married dubya !!!!

    Looks like she wants to change parties – in January?

    June 9, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. please tell her this as well

    Someone tell Michelle to look at her own self before she scrunches up her hateful nose at Hillary Clinton.

    Hillary has actually worked and championed for ALL Americans.

    You trashed her.
    My conscience is clear, went against the hype and voted for HRC.

    Yes… I vote on the issues.

    All you Haters out there calling HRC supporters morons who would cut their nose off to spite their face and declaring that loyalty to the party trumps ALL else… Please e-mail Michelle Obama and remind her of party loyalty and the need to elect a Democrat, and about Roe vs Wade and the Supreme Court, and the blood spilling in the deserts of Iraq.

    BUT DARE NOT TO BULLY OR THREATEN US HRC SUPPORTERS WITH YOUR BIASED, HYPOCRITICAL INSULTS. You are just losing ( I’m sorry, the smart and educated say it ‘LOOSING’ votes from all us ignorant uneducated ‘LOOSERS’.

    June 9, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. insanity

    Mrs Bush is an elegant and a lovely lady. Too bad she's married to Bush. I guess she was attracted to Bush because he's a nice guy. Just not a good president.

    June 9, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. pam Eugene OR

    Thank you Mrs Bush. Too bad your husband isn't as smart as you are!

    June 9, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Advise

    Thank you Mrs. Bush for the advise. And thank you for not stirring up old news about Mrs. Obama. You set the perfect example for all women....

    Why don't you advise President Bush to support Barack Obama. That would really show how much you care....

    OBAMA 08....

    June 9, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Jaime

    Maybe Bush/Cheney should have let Laura run the intel gathering on Pre-war Iraq...

    June 9, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Ben

    Now it is time to swiftboat the Obama's by showing the bad side in a soft way.
    Hillary lost, Period!

    June 9, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Why

    According to Hillary, Laura Bush has 8 years of presidential experience.

    June 9, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. Henry Smith

    I don't believe that's a correct quote of Ms. Obama's comment. I recall the phrase being "really proud," with "really" being an important and meaningful modifier. That is, her choice of words suggested to me that, although she may have been proud of her country throughout her life, she is now "really proud" because of the marked increase in the legel of participation in the political process.

    June 9, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Less, Austin Tx

    Behind every good man – stands a good woman? Well, there ya go. This woman has no place to talk or comment about anything.

    From the beginning, this woman should have advised her destructive husband Bush, "you have to be very careful about what you do when you run this country". This woman should be explaining why she let her husband commit such ruinous acts.

    June 9, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Sabrina

    Thank you, for your gracious words for Hillary, I 'm in awe of her strength and endurance and always with a smile on her face. Michelle has to learn to keep her mouth shut. It is not about her, it is her husband running. McClinton voter.

    June 9, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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