Group switches ad after Laura Bush’s request
February 21st, 2013
02:54 PM ET
1 year ago

Group switches ad after Laura Bush’s request

(CNN) – A pro-same sex marriage group said Thursday they would begin airing a new television ad after their first spot featuring Laura Bush supporting marriage rights drew backlash from the former first lady.

“We used public comments for this ad from American leaders who have expressed support for civil marriage,” a spokesperson for the Respect for Marriage Coalition said. “We appreciate Mrs. Bush’s previous comments but are sorry she didn’t want to be included in an ad. The ad launched a public education campaign that will now move to new and different voices that reflect the depth and breadth of our support.”

The group’s new ad will feature a Republican military veteran who supports same-sex marriage rights. The group says after Friday, the new commercial will begin airing and the spot featuring Bush will stop.

Bush, who is one of three prominent Republicans featured in the spot, asked the ad’s creator to remove the portion of the ad that features a 2010 CNN interview where she comes out in support of gay marriage rights.

Related: Laura Bush: Take me out of pro-gay marriage ad

The advocacy commercial aired yesterday on CNN but was replaced by another spot Thursday at the request of the advertiser.

A statement from Bush’s spokeswoman Anne MacDonald said the former first lady “did not approve of her inclusion in this advertisement nor is she associated in any way with the group that made the ad.”

"When she became aware of the advertisement Tuesday night, we requested that the group remove her from it,” MacDonald said.

The spot features Bush speaking in a 2010 CNN interview with Larry King.

"When couples are committed to each other and love each other then they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has," she is shown saying.

Those remarks came as a surprise at the time, since she appeared to be breaking ranks on the issue with her husband, former President George W. Bush. In 2011, her daughter Barbara appeared in a television spot for another pro-gay marriage group, the Human Rights Campaign.

The spot also features clips of former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Colin Powell voicing their support for same-sex marriage rights. A spokeswoman for Powell said Thursday they weren't contacted for permission to use the clip, but that "his remarks are in the public domain and we have not asked them to remove it."

A spokesman for Cheney did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the ad Thursday morning.

The group said Wednesday they would spend $1 million to air the spot nationally, as well as run print ads in major newspapers utilizing the same quotes from the Republicans who back equal marriage rights.

"None of us would want to be told we can't marry the person we love," a narrator says introducing the clips. "That's why a growing majority of Americans believe it's time to allow marriage for gay and lesbian couples."

The ad shows Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State under George W. Bush, supporting same-sex marriage in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer from May.

"Allowing them to live together with the protection of law, it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country," Powell said on CNN's "The Situation Room."

That interview reflected a shift for Powell, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was implemented.

A third Republican, former Vice President Dick Cheney, is shown in the spot saying "Freedom means freedom for everyone." Cheney's younger daughter Mary wed her longtime partner Heather Poe in June. They were married in Washington, D.C., which legalized same-sex marriage in 2009.

And a Democrat, President Barack Obama, is shown during his January inauguration address declaring "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law."

The new ad campaign comes as the Supreme Court prepares to tackle the issue of same-sex marriage this spring. Last year the high court agreed to hear two constitutional challenges to state and federal laws dealing with the recognition of gay and lesbian couples to legally wed.

Oral arguments will be held on March 26 and 27, with a ruling by late June.


Filed under: Laura Bush • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Lindalou

    They still have Jeb waiting in the wings. Can't have anything out there that even hints of going against party lines to taint his chances. Too bad her true feelings can't be expressed without her party dictating what she should feel.

    February 21, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  2. sqeptiq

    She married GWB. That pretty much says it all.

    February 21, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  3. Joe Plumber

    Mrs. George W. Stepford Wife should take a page from Barbara Bush who had no problem disagreeing with her husband and the Republicans on issues she felt strongly about.

    February 21, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  4. lean6

    I saw the ad the other day. Such a strange combination of unlikely characters clearly voicing support for marriage equality, including Laura Bush. There was no tricky editing. I think she came right before Darth Cheney himself in the ad.

    February 21, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. Hrdwrknjoe

    Intolerant bigots like the Marriage Coalition and fair tail christians, you have been BEATEN. Now stop, lay down and wallow in the puke you spew before WE revert back to your level and burn you at the stake!

    February 21, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  6. Hrdwrknjoe

    Intolerant bigots like the Marriage Coalition and fair tail christians, you have been beaten. Now stop, lay down and wallow in the puke you spew before we revert back to your level and burn you at the stake!

    February 21, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  7. cbr

    Mrs. Bush should have been asked before a quote was used. She does have a right to do so. Whether we agree with her or not is irrelevant. Instead we hope that those who write and edit these materials will do the correct thing.

    I am sorry that she is not putting forth her own statement because the men and women deserve to choose how they wish to live and with whom. We do not have the right or the power to decide for them.The Freedom to decide is above all else..

    February 21, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  8. sadlyperturbed

    Laura Bush had a chance to step outside of her parties bigotry and show America what a class act she could be, but instead, she chose to hide. With this decision, she showed she is no more intelligent than the man she married. What little respect I may have had for her is lost.

    February 21, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  9. PushingBack

    Laura Bush you had one last chance to reframe your almost nonexistent contribution to our country and yet you chose to fade away without standing up for something that could make he difference for so many good people. I tried to believe you we're better than your piece of horse dung hubby but apparently not.

    February 21, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  10. dabchick

    Laura Bush NEVER has stood for anything(except cigarettes) – why would she start now!!! Such a boring librarian who only claim to fame(?) is she married the idiot who ruined the country. Donna Rochester described her perfectly.

    February 21, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  11. chirpieguy

    I'm as liberal as the next guy, but even if I shared the same view as a group, the idea of not even being asked about it would be a big turn-off for me.

    February 21, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  12. petemg

    About time somebody speaks up. Obama would not like it if his picture was put in an ad without permission.

    February 21, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  13. Getoverit

    Yep. And rightfully so.

    February 22, 2013 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  14. Getoverit

    Waaaah, wahhhhhh! She never approved her comments being used for a political ad. Get over it, liberals. She could sue if she wanted to. But she probably won't. But if a Democrat was treated the same way.... OMG! The sky is falling!!!!

    February 22, 2013 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  15. jb1963

    I did know Laura Bush could write.

    February 22, 2013 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  16. Marie MD

    These bushes should be happy anybody cares about anything they have to say. Didn't they do enough to tank the country and its citizens?

    February 22, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  17. Peter Bishop

    Bravo Laura Bush.

    February 22, 2013 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  18. I AM

    She would have made a better president than her husband.

    February 22, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  19. tony

    I think Mrs Bush should appear on national tv and retract her statement, I am starting to think that heart was not in it.

    February 22, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  20. Texas

    And this Mrs Bush is why the Republican Party is Crashing, say one thing in public then backtrack when the "Powers that be" tell you to. Must be nice not to have to defend your beliefs.

    February 22, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  21. Tom

    Being in favor of equal rights does not mean being in favor of redefining the definition of "marriage." If gays would get off the kick of calling it "marriage" and therefore identical in every way to a hetero marriage, they'd find a lot less opposition. Even a young kid can figure out that a gay union is incapable of creating life, and that alone should qualify it for a different name, even if militant gays demand otherwise. Whether they realize it or not, militant gays hurt their own cause.

    February 22, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  22. Don P

    Just proves what I said before, people especially politicians will say what is politically correct in public but will show what they truely believe afterwards or behind a voting screen.

    She said what she said before so the pro-gay bullies could not attack. Now she can speak her mind.

    February 22, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  23. jboh

    A public statement is PUBLIC. I recall a lot of political ads about Michelle Obama's call for healthy diet as "trying to control every aspect of our lives". TEA/GOP hypocrisy at its worst.

    February 22, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  24. rolinger

    Irony:
    When the left pushes an agenda its called: An education Campaign
    When the right pushes an agenda its called: Propaganda.

    Good work CNN.

    February 22, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
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