May 14th, 2010
08:50 PM ET
12 years ago

Laura Bush gets personal in interview, book

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="Laura Bush recalls dangerous, disappointing and happy stories, from her new book, in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer."]

(CNN) - Laura Bush writes about especially private moments from her life in her new book, “Spoken from the Heart.” In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the former first lady recalls many memories with candor.

One of the more harrowing episodes Mrs. Bush remembers is what happened on 9/11 – and whether or not she was afraid for herself or her family, including President Bush.

“Well, I think every first lady probably worries a little bit about her husband,” Mrs. Bush said. “I think that's just part of it. But not really. I'm not really a fearful person and neither is George. And, of course, we knew we were protected by the Secret Service.”

“Seldom was I really afraid for - for either him or for myself,” she added.

Regarding the first couple’s safety on the day terrorists attacked the nation, Mrs. Bush described to Blitzer, in detail, the White House bunker the couple stayed in for awhile – something she also writes about in her book.

“Well, it really is sort of like a bunker,” she said. “It's deep below the White House in a basement. I think it was maybe added - I don't know - during Truman or Roosevelt, during war. And it looks like it was added during Truman or Roosevelt. The furniture looks that old that's in it.

“There's a hide-a-bed there that the very first night, September 11, that night, the Secret Service told George and me that they wanted us to stay there, to spend the night there. And George just said, ‘No.’ You know, he said, ‘I've got to be in my own bed. I've got to get some sleep.’ Because he knew that everything had changed for him and for his presidency and for our whole country.”

In the interview that aired on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, the former first lady reveals other personal stories from her time in the White House.

Mrs. Bush talked about how the couple’s daughters – Barbara and Jenna – handled criticism of the president. “Well, I think they just lived with it. And they knew about it because they were born the year their grandfather was elected vice president,” she said.

Mrs. Bush said, she believes, the media often viewed her incorrectly.

“I also think that, because George was a conservative, a Republican president, that people assumed that I was, you know, a cookie-baking, stay-at-home mother,” she said. “And - and I think that's sort of the box that we put our first ladies in every time.” Mrs. Bush said first ladies are often “a lot more interesting and complex … than just a flat description of them.”

And in an especially private exchange during the interview, also recalled in the book, Mrs. Bush talked about how difficult it was to get pregnant.

“We wanted to have children the first year we were married. We were 31 when we got married, and we both really wanted children - and a lot of children. And then I had trouble getting pregnant. So George and I had actually already gone to an adoption agency, and we had already filled out the paperwork and were ready for the home visit when I got pregnant,” Mrs. Bush said.

“We had checked that we wanted twins if twins came. So we were very, very grateful and felt so fortunate that we got twins.”

On social issues, Mrs. Bush reiterated her personal support for gay marriage and abortion rights, though she called them “very difficult” issues. On abortion rights, Mrs. Bush said she is “very empathetic to a pro-life stance.”

“I also think it's important for it to remain legal, for medical reasons and - and for other reasons beyond that,” she added.

In terms of life after the White House, Mrs. Bush called it “terrific.” She talked about being surrounded by friends in Dallas and working on George W. Bush’s presidential library, to be housed at Southern Methodist University.

Will the woman who’s spent so much time in the spotlight ever run for public office?

“I'm not going to run,” she said.

“I mean I just would have never run for political office. It's just, you know, not my thing. But - but I am really happy that I had the chance to be involved in - in our political life and the political life of our country.”

Filed under: Laura Bush • Popular Posts
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. JonDie

    Who cares what the woman married to the stupidest president in history thinks?

    May 14, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  2. PT

    Laura Bush is the typical "Highland Park" lady who lives in Dallas, even though she actually lives in the upper scale Preston Hollow area.
    At SMU she was a soriority party girl, and as a woman who does the society circuit, she is still a playgirl-face lift and all. Sad.

    May 14, 2010 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  3. Tracy-Oakley

    This women is the most boring first lady ever. Who in their right mind is going to buy this book?

    May 14, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    I hope she has a chapter in her book dedicated to how to raise children. Should be great to see how you handle your daughters when they get caught underage drinking. Oh, that's right, you get the cop fired that caught them and brought them in. Never mind......

    I'd mention Michael Denton Douglas, too, but you know how that's going to get handled...........*Wink*

    May 14, 2010 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  5. Eric

    Classy lady.

    May 14, 2010 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  6. DENNA

    Despite the mess her husband made of this country, Mrs. Bush is lovely and classy. Relax and enjoy your life, Mrs. Bush. You deserve it.

    May 14, 2010 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  7. normajean

    In many years past, we have had many first ladies along with all those presidents and while we don't agree on politics, i have to say that she has been and still is. one of the prettiest. Everything about her is attractive and underplayed from clothes to makeup. This is probably the nicest thing I've ever said about a Republican, but I mean it.

    May 14, 2010 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  8. Joseph

    Laura Bush is one of our country's best first ladies. She did not go to Harvard or Yale or Princeton, but she is as smart and intelligent as those who went to Harvard, Yale or Princeton. However, the most important is she is very patriotic and loves her country very dearly and has never apologized for its greatness and compassion. She is kind and authetic and we are proud of Laura Bush and of course George W. Bush.

    May 14, 2010 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  9. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    She lived there 8 years and has no idea when the bunker was built? A great intellectual curiosity.... SHUT UP, DRUNK

    May 14, 2010 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  10. Leon J. Swartzentruber

    One Beautiful and Intelligent Lady.

    May 15, 2010 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  11. Fitz in Texas

    Lord, I hope the left doesn't get trashy with this woman like they do her husband.

    May 15, 2010 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  12. Larry

    Hey Laura ...

    Hate to be the one to break the news to you

    Your little hubby was in on the murder of over 3000 Americans on 9/11


    May 15, 2010 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  13. Larry

    He and Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove all deserve the chair for their crimes against humanity

    A name for your next book could be ..... my husband the murdering terrorist !!!!!

    May 15, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  14. ehwilson429

    laura bush is a poorly eduacted dope.
    she's also a closet DEM for gay marriage/abortion.

    deport her to china.

    May 15, 2010 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  15. Smith in Oregon

    Revisionist History spinners like Karl Rove and Laura Bush that are glorifying the horrific Bush family big oil legacy seem to largely avoid their direct role in invading Iraq to settle a family feud between Bush sr. and Saddam Hussein.

    Another horrific Bush family big drug legacy is that during both Bush sr and Bush jr's time in the White House, illegal drug trade greatly increased in both South America and in Afghanistan with the CIA allegedly smack in the middle of the major 'drug export players'.

    Bush sr. had been a former director of the CIA during the time of widespread accusations of human rights abuses against civilians thru-out South America which were championed by Pope John Paul I who apparently was murdered only 33 days in office just as Bush sr. was 'officially' leaving the directorship of the CIA.

    During Bush jr's time in office ALL 35 provinces across Afghanistan were growing as much Opium Poppy's as they possibly could. NOW with the horrific Bush-Cheney out of office there are only 5 provinces in all of Afghanistan still growing Opium Poppy's.

    It's hard to say what Laura Bush thinks about the horrific Bush Family values, the CIA drug connections, the death of Pope John Paul I, flooding the world with Heroin from Afghanistan's enormous Opium-Poppy fields and the revenge on Saddam Hussein for his alleged attempt to murder Bush sr. when he visited Kuwait.

    However, it is utter nonsense to think Laura Bush wasn't entirely aware of each of those huge global events as they unfolded within her own family and its members.

    May 15, 2010 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  16. MR.AL


    Mrs.Bush what do you have to worry about!! You have a home,plenty of money, food and now your complaining about living the good life!!!! What about the people in the country with no job no home and no food? This recession falls back on your husband George W Bush. 99% of America is going through the worst recession ever. Your sitting on BILLIONS!!!!!

    May 15, 2010 01:24 am at 1:24 am |