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. Andrew Kessinger

    Thank you for your gracious words, Mrs. Bush. I agree that Michelle's words were misconstrued. Michelle Obama loves this country as much as the next one.

    June 9, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Donna

    It sure would have been nice if a few more prominent women (Democrats or Republicans) said a few nice things about Hillary a bit early than now...too little...to late...shame on American women...

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

    The woman behind...her eyes say so much about her husband.

    June 9, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. tj

    CNN, plz post this

    Thank you, Laura.
    I always liked you though you are republican.
    Hillary really is the only candidate who showed great strength, experiece – she is the best for the position.
    As for Obama supporters & DNC – no way for me and my friends vote for him.
    You can now be very nice to Hillary supporters – say nice things about her – but all this hypocracy – only to get votes.
    DNC betrayed it's base and it will have sober wake up in November

    June 9, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. DC Resident

    She should have advised Michelle Obama getting away from the holy White House. She is anti-American and she is a racist. She is anything but first lady materials. She said she would have not supported Hillary if she was the nominee. - Obama of course would share her views.
    We need Hillary back!
    We won't vote for Obama!
    We will vote for McCain with 100%.
    - I know CNN won't post it.

    June 9, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Dave

    Helen in NY–if you think CNN is trying to push Obama down your throat, quit watching and blogging about it; in the same way most of us don't care to watch or blog on FoxNews as they inch closer everday to saying Obama's the anti-Christ. Get the FACTS where you can and tune out the rest. It's not as hard as you think.

    June 9, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. james

    Clinton supporters... don't make a mistake. I would love to write in Hillary but I know it's a wasted vote. My vote for McCain will be a vote against Obama and his thugs.

    I know the thugs and their agenda – I saw the caucuses and witnessed the disgusting antics and bullying.

    Hillary was robbed – HER SUPPORTERS WERE ROBBED! Our Grandmothers and Mothers were robbed.

    Vote McCain '08 for Clinton '12

    June 9, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Ann

    Thank you, first lady!

    Hillary did not lose, she did great!!!

    For CNN:

    It's not Hillary's job to get voters for Obama, it's Obama's job!!!

    June 9, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Irene

    According to Hillary's math, Laura Bush has 8 years of experience and she can give advice.

    June 9, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Matt M.

    This is not respectful at all! Laura is implying that she has accomplished what Hillary Clinton has. She has not! She just happens to be married to George W. Bush!

    "I know what it's like to be the candidate..."

    No, you don't, Mrs. Bush!

    By the way, I'm an Obama supporter. But I admire and respect Senator Clinton, and I don't agree with Laura Bush's "backhanded compliment".

    June 9, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. sweden stockholm

    Bush has made more mistakes than obama´s wife has done or said. So please keep your advice 4 your kids.

    June 9, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Doc Sinn

    Dear Fake HRC Supporters,

    Please go away. Your act is old. True HRC supporters, while somewhat upset, would never betray HRC by switching parties and voting for a man that has NOTHING in common with her. We know you are really either Republicans or Limbaugh Lemmings.

    Dear Fake Obama Supporters,

    Please go away. Your act is old. True Obama supporters want unity within the party and a change in America. HRC is a needed part of that change even if she isnt going to be president. We want her as an ally. We know you are really either Republicans or Limbaugh Lemmings

    PS Rush Limbaugh was an idiot before he got old. Now he's an old idiot and quite irrelevant. Stop listening to him. Informed Americans arent going to vote for McCain. Period.

    June 9, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Republican Voting Democrat in 2008

    Laura Bush for President!

    June 9, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Amy

    Um, Laura Bush praising Clinton and offering good advice to Michelle Obama?? Did the planets align in some bizarre way I was unaware of??????

    I mean, good for her, probably the first thing Laura Bush has done or said that I feel good about but still....

    June 9, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Bill McCall

    Mr's Obama's remarks about her pride were clear and can't be dimissed by damage control. Mrs. Bush's certainly understands being careful during a campaign. But listen to the words, :FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY ADULT LIDE..... Very specific and crystal clear. Shame on her, but Sen Obama is forunate we vote for President, not first spouse.

    June 9, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. carol

    Tell Hillary to obey the rules next time and not to think she is above them. This is America and the to be a president you have to be able to show that you can obey the rule and not try change them at the middle of the game when you fall short.

    Hillary mislead 18 million people even when it was clear she was gonna loose.
    Thank God she is out and will not mislead 309 Million Americans by not dealing with reality!

    June 9, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. Obama 08

    Michelle NEVER said she would not vote for HRC. Also you all need to wake up and realize not everybody is always proud of America. John Edwards was right about two different worlds. Just because I am not always proud of my country does not mean I am un american or un patrotic. I am not proud of this country from slavery, stealing land from the Indians(native americans) jim crow laws, how hurricane katrina was handled, the jena 6, sean bell, war in Iraq and the list goes on and on. So no everybody is NOT always proud of this country and every policy and law that was ever on the books. Michelle Obama rocks and will make a GREAT, Strong, educated 1st lady with a fierce sense of style..:-)

    June 9, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. david

    "hillary supporter" "clinton supporter" commented before are not Hillary clinton suporters. The way they defended Michelle Obama is exactly the way obama supporters defend him and his wife by acusing hillary supporters as racists.

    June 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. Jason

    Hillary and Michelle are in separate leagues...

    I have more sympathy for HRC because she was cast aside by one hundred or so superdelegates. That's not democratic in the least.

    Michelle on the other hand is married to none other than Barak H, and her comments are inexcusable because they reflect the whole Obama package. That is to say, two outspoken personalities, surrounded by some bad friends and their loathesome beliefs about America.

    June 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. outside looking in

    Ever notice why people from other countries dislike the United States because thet are always looking for war. Reading the blogs just goes to prove their point.

    June 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Deb

    I spend Saturday afternoon crying my eyes out for Hillary and the Democratic Party that I have been loyal to from 1972.

    This year I will be voting for McCain!

    As a conservative and a patriot I will cast my vote with pride!

    McCain 08

    June 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. bridgette

    I think people are just a little too sinsitive now a days. I think all she was giving Hilary and Michelle a compliment. I think people maybe should lay off the blogging for awhile, because, you people are seeing problems where there aren't any.

    June 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Paul

    Isnt family suppost to alwaysbe there to give you support.

    June 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Chut Pata

    It is very obvious that Dubya never took any advice from this intelligent lady. Maybe he thought he was a man, and men are not supposed to take any advice from women.

    The interesting things though is that she had no advice form Cindy McCain! Does she think Cindy is hopeless?

    June 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. Bill Jay

    You bloggers are very strange....Mrs. Bush is cool so don't try
    your child like actions to degrade her. Just stay focused on the view point.

    June 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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