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. Cal nig

    A good one. so something good can come from a replubican.

    June 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Diva in Pennsylvania



    how nice of her???

    June 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Kenneth Texas

    The 1st Lady is just that a "Lady". The wrong Bush was elected President.

    June 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. A.M. Saqib

    Well said Mrs. Bush, well said. Once again 'Michelle Obama's remark were intentionally miscontrued by republicans, and even more so now, mentioning and reminding people again what they almost forgot is not needed; when this should be the histroy reminding every one again of those remarks really serves no purpose.

    As far as Mrs. Hillary Clinton is concerned, indeed she did an excellent performance all the way around, and it shows that she was not just a "First Lady' she is herself a well polished politician and a true leader. Her endoresement of 'Obama' speaks by itself as to how much she cares and how dedicated a democrat is she.

    Thank you for valubale advise anyways!

    A.M. Saqib
    Houston, Texas

    June 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Lisa from VA

    I have always respected Laura Bush even though I DO NOT agree with the Presidents policies and loathe the thought of 4 more years of the same. And that is what we can expect if McCain is elected. I also agree that MIchelle Obama did not choose her words carefully....but I also challenge the ones who are bashing her to say that they have never in their lives misspoke. I can only imagine what it must be like to have every word you say scrutinized. I would likely be toast within a week if I had to answer for every word uttered. I definitely put my foot in my mouth from time to time.....as do the rest of you I daresay.

    June 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Tom, St. Paul

    It's obvious from these remarks that Laura Bush HATES FREEDOM!

    June 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. Rabid Shrillary Fan

    I will not vote for Hussein Obama. He is an arrogant black man who has no business being president. I don't care what Hillary says about supporting him – she has to say that.

    I am a bitter, middle-aged crone who is racist, fearful, and spiteful. I have placed all the blame for my failures on men and minorities. I am also a spiteful b**ch to other women, including my so-called friends, but I tout my support of feminism and sister-hood whenever possible.

    I don't base any of my political choices on any actual issues or positions, just on my immediate emotional response to my subconcious fears – that is why I so strongly hate and oppose Obama. He is young, black, and male – everything that I am not, and everything that I fear.

    June 9, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. elizabeth

    Thanks Mrs. Bush, for defending Michelle Obama on her remarks. I'm sure she meant what you said. Thanks again.

    June 9, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Bridgette-PA

    Leave Michelle Obama alone. Her words were misconstrued and all "mature" Americans know it. If your not an african american woman, I guess it would be hard for you to understand, however, your maturity level, african american or not, would help you understand. Let her alone, we totally understood what she meant (I'm mature). Except for "Molly" who needs a reality check on maturity 🙂


    June 9, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Joe

    Clinton = Bush

    June 9, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. lois

    The Republicans have been more respectful of Hillary than the Democrats. Thank-you Mrs. Bush!

    June 9, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Obama v McCain

    I'm REALLY getting sick of the idiots playing off and misinterpetting Michelle's comments(notice how i said "really" there? ) thats what Michelle did and it does not imply that she was never before proud but that she was really proud..duh..also..you dont have to be black(and nappyheaded as one nice gentleman pointed out the other day) to feel disgust and not-so-proudness and speak up about it.. America is and has been gulty of turning a whole nation away from pride(and in yours hearts you know its true) so even if she did say it the way it is being contexted..(and she wasnt)so what..truth is truth. I HAVE NEVER BEEN PROUD OF MY COUNTRY UNTIL THIS ELECTION SEASON. PERIOD.label me what you will.. but you'll need a lot of batteries in that label maker because i am sure there are lots of people who feel that way

    "Not this time-not this year!)-Barak.H.Obama

    June 9, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Tim

    vic nashville,Tn June 9th, 2008 11:53 am ET

    Easy to say get over it I think people say get over it they never try in their life

    I know how hard for Hillary

    DNC worked on this math
    Equation 1 They want to come out from Clinton brand
    Equation 2 They don’t want lose the black votes
    Solve these 2 equations with super delegates
    This race was decided by Super delegates

    That is fine with us but we decided to whom we have to vote
    Who care the party now

    How many delegates was obama short of before he worn the remaining 21 and how many Hillary was short of.

    Hillary had no majority of elected delegates (1627) needed to win the nomination while Obama did when he went to celebrate in Iowa.

    This race had been over for 3 months but Hillary decided to be in denial and she got what she wished for.

    I wish her luck!

    June 9, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. Brian, NJ

    This is abolutely part of the GOP strategy to get Hillary voters to support McCain.

    Please Hillary supporters, remember a vote for McCain, staying home (same as a vote for McCain) or writing in Hillary's name (same as a vote for McCain) will only lead to more conservative judges not only on the Supreme Court but lower Federal Courts (arguably a bigger deal), possible repeal of Roe v. Wade, and more troops to Iraq.

    Elect a Dem as president, embrace the history of the first African-American President (how cool is that), and then she can run in 2012 (I bet there will be other women in the field as well since she blazed the trail).

    I would have been just as upset if Obama lost as you all are, and would probably be saying I'd vote for McCain right now, but I would come around in the end. I hope you all will.

    June 9, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. SC lady

    I applaud Hillary for her long arduous campaign. She really rose to the occasion hanging in there. It requires great strength of character and commitment to do what Hillary did.

    June 9, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Bob, Hamilton

    CNN, you better watch the way your overzealous journalists word their headlines. 'Laura Bush applauds Clinton, has advise for Michelle Obama', isnt the best caption judging from the full text. Divisive.

    Secondly, your proffessional journalists seem to omit the most obvious-not the best form of Journalism and could potentially land your Network in Libel Suit.

    WHERE IS THE word 'REALLY' in Michelle's remark? She said 'for the first time in my adult life, I'm REALLY Proud of my country'.

    That word 'REALLY' makes a lot of difference in interpreting that statement. And your journalist knows that and thats why its more convenient for them to omit it.

    June 9, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Xavier, St. Louis, MO

    She needs to give her clown-of-a-husband some advice!

    June 9, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  18. Don't Start Please...

    To CNN...I sure hope that you will not become the new station that that's known for spewing distorted Republican talking points. I could have sworn that I saw and heard her say "I'm REALLY proud of my country." Operative word, "REALLY." If you're gonna quote someone you should do it responsibly and accurately. Get your stuff together please!

    "Lay off my wife!!!", Obama '08

    June 9, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. JJ

    Jean–knock off playing the race card. POTUS is the biggest game in town, and if Michelle Obama doesn't learn how to handle herself better in prime time and it costs her husband, it will have absolutely nothing to do with race. Obama himself said those kinds of arguments have no place in the campaign, yet you want to affirm Michelle's poorly worded speech just because of her race. You can't have it both ways...not everyone who doesn't vote for Obama is a racist. Perhaps a lot of McCain supporters simply think Obama isn't qualified. Have you considered that?

    June 9, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. MD

    Michele Obama probably became very proud to be an American when Barack was elected to the Illinois legislature. She saw her salary jump from just over $100,000 to over $300,000.

    That's change she can believe in.

    June 9, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Good advice from one first lady to the next first lady!

    June 9, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Dave G

    I agree with Brian, NJ,
    "This is abolutely part of the GOP strategy to get Hillary voters to support McCain."

    To all who are considering voting for McCain, not voting, or writing in Hillary's name in November, please know that this will hurt Hillary Clinton. If she is perceived (rightly or wrongly) as dividing the party and losing the November election to McCain, then her power and influence as a Senator and future candidate will diminish.

    At this point, the best thing we can do for Hillary is to do what she says and vote for Obama in November.

    On the other hand, if you think another 8 years of war in Iraq would be a good thing, then go ahead and vote for McCain.

    June 9, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. GR

    What is that comment about living as an African-American woman. You people make the differences in you and other people.

    June 9, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Foreign observer

    She should have advised her husband not to cheat the world and to stick with the American ideals... no torture, respect towards different oppinions and so on..

    June 9, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. DEMS UNITE!!!

    As much as I despise her husband, she seems pretty leverl headed for the most part and actually gave some good advice. At least there is a Bush in the white house with some brains, to bad it's the wrong Bush.

    June 9, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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