(CNN) – Candidates with extreme views on social issues aren’t the standard in the Republican Party, former first lady Laura Bush said in an interview aired Monday.
Looking back to the 2012 election, Bush told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” that “every candidate was different,” but that some were “obviously examples of candidates who frightened some women.”
But those candidates, Bush stated, “were the exception rather than the norm in the party.”
Last year’s election saw multiple GOP candidates make comments on social issues that drew major backlash. Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, explaining his opposition to abortion in cases of rape or incest, claimed pregnancies occurring after a rape were intended by God.
And in August, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, also running for Senate, ignited a firestorm when he said "legitimate rape" rarely resulted in pregnancy.
Both Akin and Mourdock lost their races, and the Republican soul-searching that followed last year’s election included looking at the party’s stance and message on social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
In the CNN interview, Bush said social issues shouldn’t be ignored just because some in the party struggled to talk about them in ways that appealed to voters.
“All of those social issues are very, very heartfelt by people,” she said. “And I understand their differences. And I’m glad that in our party we have room for all of them. I think that’s important too.”