Group switches ad after Laura Bush’s request
February 21st, 2013
02:54 PM ET
5 years 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. Sniffit

    Lame. Should have ignored her silly whining. She said it and said it publicly so she should have to live with it. No free passes.

    February 21, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. v_mag

    If Eva Braun, er, Laura Bush doesn't want her puss on TV, take it off.

    February 21, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "The House was re-elected to stop all the out of control spending Obama and his party has forced down our throats."

    No. The House GOP/teatrolls were re-elected in the majority becuase they successfully gerrymandered their districting to effectively NULLIFY the Dems winning the popular vote for the House by 1.3M votes. That's right...1,300,000 votes essentially didn't count....but but but remember the GOP/Teatrolsl "love our democracy."

    February 21, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    I think there is far more going on here than meets the eye. I most certainly would not have caved in, or even allow the appearance that I did. I'd never give an elitist what they wanted simply because they asked.

    Yes, I'm caling her an elitist. It's a compliment, if you ask me. I'll never forget her criticism of the Clinton's immediately upon moving into the White House in 2001. She made some rather deragatory remarks about the foods left behind in the storage units, which had seem to suggest that the Clintons were viddles eatin' hillbillies. I'll never forget how she had severely derided the rib-eyes and london broils that she found. She wanted to know why the Clintons would eat that sort of stuff instead of filet mignon or prime rib. She was almost distraught that she couldn't find any caviar. Is that elite enough for you?

    February 21, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Moose

    nice wig bammans big bunned wife is wearing

    February 21, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    If she wishes to retract her statements that she made during that interview, then it would only be fair that she return the appearance fee that she probably collected.

    February 21, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Larry L

    Republicans really hate these modern inventions that capture our exact words and save them for later. They still deny saying them but the "left-wing media conspiracy" excuse is somewhat harder to sell. This causes me to lose all respect for Laura Bush.

    February 21, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Larry L

    In a fair world Laura would still be waiting for her husband and "Uncle Dick" to get out of prison.

    February 21, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. gladiatorgrl

    no guts – she was a spineless first lady and she's still spineless

    February 21, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. livingston

    She said it and as much as they would like to have a 'do over', they can't. We have this amazing thing called video. It captures exactly what you say just so you can't go back and say you didn't mean it. If she didn't mean it, she shouldn't have said it. Now they just have to deal with it.

    February 21, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. rs

    Sad. A Bush who could have been a real leader.

    February 21, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. CarrotCakeMan

    We still don't know that Mrs. Bush herself really wanted her comments deleted, all we've heard is her husband's spokesperson claiming that.

    However, in raising that stink, this only drew MORE attention to Mrs. Bush's statement on television. Thanks, Bush spokesperson, for giving this pro-equality group all that free advertizing!

    February 21, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. fastrack

    Public person made a statement in an interview THAT SHE AGREED TO DO. If she said it, she needs to deal with the consequences. There's truth to the adage "think before you speak". Does the Bush Macine still wield that much power?

    February 21, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Romney is Still NOT My Hero


    nice wig bammans big bunned wife is wearing

    Moose, please stop drinking moonshine from the doggy bowl. That's a picture of Laura BUSH!!! - Congratulations on the complete FAIL!!!!

    February 21, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Tom

    While I support the Respect for Marriage Coalition cause, there is no excuse for failing to clear statements for use in their ad. Sure, I suppose they could hide behind the "public statements are fair game" argument, but the FLOTUS has always been given a little more slack than career politicians. I agree with other comments that it's an opportunity missed for Laura Bush, but I think she has the right to ask to be excluded from this ad. Respect for Marriage Coalition should have gotten her approval before including her. The Respect for Marriage Coalition could show a little more respect in general.

    February 21, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Tom wrote:

    While I support the Respect for Marriage Coalition cause, there is no excuse for failing to clear statements for use in their ad.
    Failing to clear statements? What on earth are you talking about? Laura Bush made what was probably a paid appearance, and those whio paid her are the most likely owners of the video footage. They can sell it to anyone they wish, especially when the use is not for profit. Laura Bush forfeited her rights to control of that footage when she cashed her check from her appearance fee to be on the show.

    February 21, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    The polite thing to do would have been to ask permission. She has every right to ask them to pull her name from the campaign.

    February 21, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Jonathan

    Dont know you Larry L, but love you... could not have been said better, my thoughts exactly....

    February 21, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. cf

    The woman is so out of touch with the American people, why would you want to promote anything she says? This is the person who repeatedly referred to Hurricane Katrina as "Hurricane Corrina" in the middle of her husband's massive failing in response to the disaster.

    February 21, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. fayray11

    when you say stuff on commercial TV and you don't have that legal mumbo jumbo after it like the NFL does, then you got nothing to stop it from being repeated. They should have told her to explain why she said it but didn't mean it? Lame, just like all the Bush losers.

    February 21, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. ingyandbert

    My gawd, Laura, ditch the goth lipstick already!

    February 21, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. philojazz

    A real class act, huh? Kind of brings back memories of the GWBush days, doesn't it?

    February 21, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Jennifer

    Colin Powell is a Republican?!? Whatever.

    February 21, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. cindy

    I'm glad the commercials prodicers showed some respect, unlike most of the posters here.

    February 21, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. Jim

    How dare you tell the public what I told the public.

    February 21, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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