Barbara Bush: This is the 'worst campaign I've ever seen'
March 5th, 2012
10:19 PM ET
11 years ago

Barbara Bush: This is the 'worst campaign I've ever seen'

(CNN) – Former first lady Barbara Bush on Monday said she was not a fan of the current presidential race.

"It's been, I think, the worst campaign I've ever seen in my life. I hate it," Bush said at a conference at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "I hate the fact that people think 'compromise' is a dirty word."

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Her comments, recorded by CNN affiliate WFAA, came during a conference on the impact of presidents' wives.

With her daughter-in-law, former first lady Laura Bush, sitting by her side, Mrs. Bush argued the level of political discourse has declined over the years.

"I think the rest of the world is looking at us these days and saying, 'What are you doing?'" she said.

But her apparent disgust with the race hasn't kept the feisty former first lady out of the 2012 presidential cycle.

On Sunday, robo calls went out to voters in Vermont and Ohio featuring her voice and endorsing Mitt Romney.

"We have known the Romneys for years and believe Mitt is the best man to lead the country for the next four years and Ann will make a great first lady," Mrs. Bush said on the call.

Her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, officially endorsed Romney in December.

- CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta contributed to this report.

Also see:

Poll: All tied up in Tennessee

Romney gets backing from key Republicans

Barbara Bush robo calls for Romney

Romney, Santorum tied in Ohio

Filed under: 2012 • Barbara Bush • Republicans
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Voice of Reason

    Somehow the crickets in the background sound amazingly well placed

    March 6, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  2. CaliLisa

    It surprises me to be posting this as a life long Democrat, but I fully support the former First Lady in that I find compromise and negotiation to be the way forward to solving our issues as opposed to "my way or the highway."

    March 6, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  3. c'mon america

    By far the most sensible thing she has ever said !

    March 6, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  4. jean2009

    Well at least she is honest.

    March 6, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  5. JS

    Mrs. Bush is right. There are several factors, the media and the tone that this president has set for the country, divisive and adversarial.

    March 6, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  6. DoNotWorry

    Like me, Barbara Bush remembers when the Republican Party was more mainstream.

    March 6, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  7. AmericanRod

    Thank you Former First Lady, for making light of these dark debates 12.
    Mrs Barbara Bush, you are wise.

    March 6, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  8. Jim

    The crazy baby boomers have stolen the stage and everyone is laughing at us. Even the elderly want to stick pacifiers in the candidates mouths.

    March 6, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  9. Hogarth

    We – the nation – have all known the Romneys for years, Barbara. We knew his father, too. Saying Mitt is "the best man to lead the country for the next four years" reveals that beneath that glorious hair of yours, there is just more hair.

    March 6, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  10. Orwell proven

    Compromise, tea party, republicans, vitriol, self-righteous-insanity.

    Compromise left the building, or was murdered some time ago by the other four. Go Rush!

    March 6, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  11. Orwell proven

    The worst campaign is when the Republican Party of God wins.

    March 6, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  12. Attila, The Hun

    Why – because a worthless Bush isn't in the campaign.

    March 6, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  13. Mike

    Today's GOP keeps going to a whole new level of crazy, making the old guard (Bush 41, Reagan, even Nixon) look downright reasonable

    March 6, 2012 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  14. Attila, The Hun

    Well you can thank Karl Rove for much of the political intransigence who was your worthless son's dog.

    March 6, 2012 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  15. texas_compadre

    Barbara's absolutely right. And Chairman Limbaugh hasn't helped matters. The Republicans have peed the bed again this year, and before they even had the chance to get INTO it!

    March 6, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  16. Jim

    I agree with Barb, she hit the nail on the head!

    March 6, 2012 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  17. Fred Riek

    Barbara was the best Bush of all. She was a straight talker and was both smart and wise. I cannot recall anyone saying anything bad about this gracious First Lady. Too bad political reality cannot let her vote fort the best candidate, Obama.

    March 6, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  18. BeverlyNC

    I agree Barbara. You and George Sr were Republicans I always respected. I don't know what happened to to the Republican Party but it's too bad it is nothing close to the common sense, compromise, and statesmanship from your era. Now Republicans are so full of hate, lies, and extremist beliefs, they are unrecognizable. Horrible candidates, no leaders, and not a single real solution for any of the nation's issues. Total obstruction from the Republican Congress has slowed our economic recovery. Still through the leadership of President Obama we have seen job growth, a recovering economy, and renewed respect for the U.S. by other nations. I stand with my President who has stood up for me and ALL Americans to restore the country and the American Dream.

    March 6, 2012 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  19. dontmesswithme

    I'm not surprised at her choice. He could easily be one of her own sons.

    March 6, 2012 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  20. Marry

    “…the worst campaign I've ever seen in my life. I hate it," we can most certainly agree with that. However when it comes to picking a President, I beg her pardon – the GOP combined with the TP has absolutely NOTHING worth voting for. No candidates, no one in Congress, no one in the Senate and most certainly no good record to run on since her son dumped the country in a ditch and the GOP/TP obstructed, attacked, criticized everything the President is doing to fix the country. But despite that -“he/we can!”. So, please, do not tell us “Mitt” is the one to save the country – he belongs to the GOP, the party that got us into the mess. If they had any interest to get the county moving, they would have behaved differently in the last 3,5 years!

    March 6, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  21. Blindersoff

    Who is Barbara Bush again? When someone endorses a known lier and phony like Romney, one must question the credibility of the endorser. Barbara Bush has fallen and can't get back up . . . Clap off the lights already. Teehee!

    March 6, 2012 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  22. Marie MD

    I never disliked Bush #41 and I always thought Barbara Bush was a good woman. She tells it like it is. Even during her husband's administration congress compromised and didn't have to sign the norquist pledge to screw America.
    She was the first who came out against the AK bimbo and others have followed. Maybe somebody on Capitol Hill wake up now.

    March 6, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  23. John

    It pretty bad when a ex first Lady even said these republican candidate are noting but Clowns.

    March 6, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  24. The Other Dale

    Always liked Barbara – she's one of the few voices in the wilderness of Republican politics that seems to understand reality (and, I suspect, always had a stronger say over the going-ons in Bush Sr.'s presidency than commonly discussed).

    March 6, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  25. ARTRaveler

    Mrs Bush, when you finally get fed up with the klowns in the klown kar, come on over to the Democratic side.

    March 6, 2012 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
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