(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."