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. donna rochester

    Shame on you Laura Bush! I was never impressed with anything you did or said, in fact, ,you were one of the most vapid and innocuous first ladies ever, no personality of your own and no opinions. Another Mamie Eisenhower.

    February 21, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Frenchie

    Stealing a childs civil right to a mom and a dad is just plain evil. Yeah, I've heard it before, two gay moms are better than all those evil straight dads. But hey, better your child is stolen from his father than mine.

    February 21, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Core republican Values

    Poor Laura, even after its all over and the presidency in her rear view mirror, she just couldn't do the right thing.

    She cements her legacy as a no class, seat-filler.

    February 21, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Malory Archer

    Frenchie, nobody wants any kid of yours.

    February 21, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. Jon in Rochester

    It's hard to think of one actual cause this lady worked for while her husband was in the white house. She can't even stand by something she actually said.

    February 21, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. milamber2002

    Too bad that in this day and age where women have made such strides that Laura Bush still feels the need to subordinate her image, to be the "good wife" to her husband's image. Despite no longer being in the White House and her remarks being her own, not to mention being both right and responsible, she caves to the "the sky is falling" right wing. How sad for ber female and her Latina heritage!

    February 21, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. J

    The first amendment protects the rights of an individual to speak out against gay marriage. Someone can not personally support it or believe it is right and still support the right of people to marry whomever they want. Ardent supporters of gay marriage have harshly criticized those who don't believe in it; they have used hateful words such as "bigot." this is only to their own detriment because it results in people simply not respecting them.

    February 21, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Larry L

    In a fair world Laura would still be waiting for her husband and "Uncle Dick" to get out of prison
    In that same "fair world" Laura would've been an ex-con, didn't she run a stop sign and kill somebody 'right in the heart of Texas'?
    Evidently membership DOES have its' privileges Larry L.

    February 21, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. g

    LARRY L your always right on

    February 21, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  10. Phillco

    What a HYPOCRYTE!

    February 21, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. MarcoD

    Leave the woman alone. They should have asked her permission first. She supports my rights and I appreciate it.

    February 21, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. Jeff--Former Republican

    Way to go Laura. If you had let them continue with that ad, you might have been stranded on the right side of history on this issue, close call.

    February 21, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  13. Elena Ferrero

    Laura I hope you read this but your inept husband, along with Cheney, is a war criminal. Hope one day all of them can be send to the Hague. Then you could visit him there before they are all execute for invading Iraq for no reason at all and based on lies and in the process killing over 100,000 innocent Iraqi babies, women and men and over 15 of our wonderful GI's while also ruining our economic. Iraq had zero WMD, no ties to OBL or 911!!.

    February 21, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. Dan

    Is it really that bad for her to ask them not to broadcast it? She didn't retract what she said, she only asked that they not use it for their political ad. Ya'll are way too quick to jump on the "evil republican" bandwagon. You know, contrary to popular belief they are people too lol.

    February 21, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. Markkgg

    What do you expect. This from a woman who lied about smoking in the White House. Who cares what she thinks, she's an idiot.

    February 21, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. jeff

    Who cares?

    February 21, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  17. Ancient Texan

    Funny, the left liked Laura Bush until she asked the ad campaign, that didn't bother to ask permission, to retract her statements. She didn't ask to part of an ad campaign. Now she's called names.

    February 21, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. tsoho

    For all of you people who think that she has flipped on this issue:
    Why is it so black and white?
    Isn't it possible that while she personally supports gay marriage, she doesn't want her name to be dragged into the fight?

    February 21, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. Snarly

    So using someone's image and words for an ad without their permission is grounds for pulling said ad? Does this count for political ads during election?

    February 21, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. JD

    Donna Rochester,

    You need therapy. President bush and his wife a maintained a private life after leaving public office. They are both staying out of politics by choice. She does not want to be brought into the public debate. Her opinions are on record.

    February 21, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  21. AJ

    Haha, Laura Bush can't stand for anything because she stands for nothing. Same as her husband. Puppets... pathetic.

    February 21, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  22. MesaMax

    If love is the only criterion for marriage, then one ought to be able to marry their brother, sister, cousin, dog, horse or cat. After all, love is love. Now do you see the falseness of that statement???

    February 21, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. DocHollywood

    Apparently someone on the tea party right has gotten to the Bush's too. When you're ashamed or afraid to repeat in a public ad what you said on a public tv station, you're in trouble. But then again, she never really impressed me as far as making controversial decisions and standing by them. So let her wimp out, the movement is stronger without her as a spokesperson than with.

    February 21, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  24. tjg47

    sup. When are you guys going to change some of the pictures up top there? your ticker is like a calendar. I mean, those pictures feel like the ones in my wallet...

    February 21, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  25. Liz the First

    God forbid a Bush should be seen as doing something decent and compassionate. shame on her for being so gutless.

    February 21, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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