Laura Bush: Take me out of pro-gay marriage ad
February 21st, 2013
10:10 AM ET
2 years ago

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

(CNN) - Former first lady Laura Bush, who is one of three prominent Republicans featured in a new ad supporting same-sex marriage, has asked the spot's creator to remove a clip of her espousing support for equal marriage rights.

"Mrs. Bush did not approve of her inclusion in this advertisement nor is she associated in any way with the group that made the ad," Anne MacDonald, a spokeswoman for the former first lady, wrote in a statement Thursday. "When she became aware of the advertisement Tuesday night, we requested that the group remove her from it."

The ad, from the Respect for Marriage Coalition, 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.

UPDATE: Group switches ad after Laura Bush’s request

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 Respect for Marriage Coalition similarly did not respond to a query on whether they would remove Bush from their spot.

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 (19 Responses)
  1. rs

    Laura Bush- what she is really saying: "Take me out of an advertisement that might make Republicans look inclusive or interested in civil rights".
    The "Stupid Party" in action.

    February 21, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Name lynn

    Laura bush its to late to take you off the ads, laura you wanted to be in the gay-married rights you are for it, its to late to remove the you from the ad.

    February 21, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Do I understand this correctly? She wants the clip of TV interview removed, but she hasn't denounced the views that she expressed during that interview. I think Mrs. Bush is going to be dissappointed, though. She can ask, but the ad producers are under no obligation to comply. If they purchased rights to use the clip, then she might be out of luck.

    February 21, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    rs wrote:

    Laura Bush- what she is really saying: "Take me out of an advertisement that might make Republicans look inclusive or interested in civil rights".
    The "Stupid Party" in action.
    ------------------
    I like the way you think. I also think Mrs. Bush is caught up within her elitist bubble, the one where rich and powerful's whim are always supposed to get what they want merely because the ask for it. "Your wish is my comand."

    February 21, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. a little sad

    I hope they do not voluntarily comply.

    Laura Bush, as First Lady, is a public person, and news clips of her are fair game.

    On the other hand, I sort of wish she could compel this. Can you imagine how fewer annoying ads there would be (from all parties) if they couldn't keep showing ads taking people's words out of context during election season.

    A little blessed quiet – that would be nice!

    February 21, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    "But but George........I didn't REALLY mean it that way......Yes dear. I will get it removed. And after that I'll get dinner ready, clean the house, take out the garbage, and see to the pets. You go and sit on the porch and whittle. Yes dear....Yes dear. You are right of course"......the Stepford wife strikes again

    February 21, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Sniffit

    Tough crap. You're a public figure who made public statements. Cry more.

    February 21, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. snottrocket

    So Laura Bush not wanted to a puppet for a political campaign makes her an "elitest?" She's already voiced her opinion and she is in favor of it. Just because she doesn't want to be in a commercial associated with a particular group doesn't mean she is a bigot or elitest. Maybe she just feels they should have asked before using her image.

    February 21, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. rl

    Oh well. Sorry Laura,. You are in.

    February 21, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. The Elephant in the Room

    Unfornate for the party. Laura Bush could be a LEADER for the party if she stood up and revalidated her support for gay unions/ marriage. She`s on the pedestal of the GOP. Use it for something.

    As 1st lady speaking on this or any political topic, she has no right to expect this wouldn`t get repeated by some group. Either keep quiet or stand behind yours words, Ms. Bush.

    Anybody know what she said when Giffords was shot; how about VA Tech?

    February 21, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. joshua

    Not all americans are in favor of this abomination to God. why not a legal paper saying u give all your belonging to whoever u want and not mess around with marriage. this is an attempt against the principles of God. repent america. see nacional repentance in kenya more than 6 million gathering on feb 24, 2013 live by dr owour. and see prophecy of earthquake coming to china that can be devastating. the whole world needs to repent or we will face judgement. God bless america. wake up before is too late.

    February 21, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    snotrocket wrote:

    ....Just because she doesn't want to be in a commercial associated with a particular group doesn't mean she is a bigot or elitest. Maybe she just feels they should have asked before using her image.
    -----------------
    No, she's an elitist because she holds the expectation that her wishes should automatically be granted. Blaming the ad producers only hghlights her isolated lifestyle. I'm certain the ad producers do not own the rights to the clip, and most likely purchased it from those that do. She has a gripe with the owners of the clip, not the producers of the ad. I would expect her to understand the difference once it is pointed out to here. George would.

    February 21, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    oshua

    Not all americans are in favor of this abomination to God. why not a legal paper saying u give all your belonging to whoever u want and not mess around with marriage. this is an attempt against the principles of God. repent america. see nacional repentance in kenya more than 6 million gathering on feb 24, 2013 live by dr owour. and see prophecy of earthquake coming to china that can be devastating. the whole world needs to repent or we will face judgement. God bless america. wake up before is too late.
    ----------

    thanks but no thanks Chicken Little. And take your cherry picking of verse to those who care

    February 21, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Thegoon

    Separation of church and state Joshua

    February 21, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    @ joshua: I didn't realize how nutty you were until you started predicting Godly disasters and urging us to repent.
    @ Mrs. Bush: if you've changed your mind, for any reason, just issue a statement that you made a mistake trying to think, and that you absolutely oppose equality for lesbians and gay men. That'll get somebody votes, too.

    February 21, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. Sniffit

    Aaaw, Poor Laura. Sounds like "you need some straight talk," missy: you opened your mouth in public so it's all fair game. #youneedsomestraighttalk

    And CNN, when are you going to report on what I'm referring to?

    February 21, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "prophecy of earthquake coming to china that can be devastating"

    The derp is strong with this one.

    February 21, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. clarke

    Well, how about that. Not sure what I think about it! Not that it makes a difference what I think, Just saying.

    February 21, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Robert

    How can anyone appove of something so unnatural is beyond me. You can also add abortion to that. Wake up America!!

    February 21, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |