March 11th, 2013
09:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Laura Bush says some GOP candidates ‘frightened’ women

(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.”

Filed under: Laura Bush
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. John the Historian

    He fine-lined and hair splitting talking points means nothing. First of all she is not in office and doesn't have a say. She is only trying to have it both ways and be a nice faced spokemen for the Republican party. Why did she ask to have her comments removed from a pro-Gay rights video ? She needs to stand clear for something. Like her stupid hair splitting comment, "I don't think Roe verus Wade should be overturned. Are you pro-choice and pro-Gay rights or not ???!!! Make up your mind. We sure knew where your husband stood on the issues.

    March 11, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. LIP

    I watched the entire interview and the primary focus was on women and their future in America and the world and wouldn't you know that CNN would take a little statement about scary GOP guys and make that the centerpiece of the conversation. Shame on Erin for allowing such a great interview to digress to this singular talking point.

    March 11, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Laura Bush is wrong about Republican candidates with extremist views not being the standard of the party. Just ask Speaker Boehner, he can't deliver votes from his own caucus because of Tea Partiers and social conservatives.

    March 11, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. B

    Members of the Bush family are suddenly resurfacing into public view after remaining in obscurity for the past four years. No doubt, this is an attempt to give the Bush name a complete makeover, improve it's image, and to rewrite W's legacy so that history will be kind to him. Improving the Bush name favorability will help make it easier for Americans to accept the possibility of a third Bush in the White House when Jeb runs for president in 2016... Not!

    March 11, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. Teena

    The problem lies with the republican platform that condones and supports laws that try to undermine women's rights. The republican party is being run by a bunch of far-right fanatics. That is what scares women!

    March 11, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I will not lower myself to the level of some of the right wingers who ridiculed Mrs. Obama for whatever perceived shortcomings she may have. Mrs. Bush did not participate in her husbands disastrous presidency, therefore she should not be held accountable. However, I disagree with her statement. The GOP did not frighten women. Today's women are simply smart enough to know that The GOP is not on their side. The march to restrict pro choice and the foot dragging on the Violence Against Women Act are just the tip of the iceberg.

    March 11, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    She's correct that there are too many Republicans out there that don't undestand groups like women and Blacks just to name a few. If they don't understand science or the needs of anyone else but themselves, then they are going to lose.

    March 11, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  8. anagram_kid

    But those candidates, Bush stated, “were the exception rather than the norm in the party.”

    She clearly paid no attention to the 112th congress.

    March 11, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  9. Former GOP

    Mrs. Bush, the entire Republican party frightened women!

    March 11, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  10. king

    This is suposed to be news. I just dont understand how these repubs get away with their voodoo economics, and their outrageous talking points all the time. Oh i forgot,.they caters to the rich and the rich have the money to pay them off and some dems too to keep silent, plus they own, cnbc, fox business, entertainment news, also a hoard of right winged talk radeo stations. The lame street media better dont show obama in a good light either, or fox news will talk about them mercilessly, all the dems got is msnbc.

    March 11, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  11. freedom

    This headline doesn't even begin to describe the intelligent, thoughtful, and encouraging words Larua Bush spoke about in this interview. In fact, it has nothing to do with purpose of the interview. She is a woman of class, and an advocate for liberties for women, and their influence around the world. I applaud her.

    March 12, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  12. SafeJourney

    Nice lady. So sorry her husband is such a loser

    March 12, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  13. Thomas

    I think more woman thought most male GOP candidates arrogant , self-serving immature hypocrites .

    Fear is a great motivator , yet the intelligence of an educated woman is more powerful .

    March 12, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  14. North Dallas Don

    Laura Bush isn't as smart as I once thought she was.

    March 12, 2013 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  15. Clyde

    Does this woman EVER stop lying? Of course extreme views on social issues is the norm in the GOP. Every single person who supports any GOP candidate is supporting hatred and bigotry.

    March 12, 2013 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  16. Aaron

    I think this woman confuses fear with disgust and disdain.

    March 12, 2013 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  17. Kate

    She always talks out of both sides of her mouth, like supporting LGBT one day but not be on ads that support it the next day.

    March 12, 2013 04:44 am at 4:44 am |

    Laura and Jeb Bush are in denial, bigtime. Follow them wingnuts. Nothing is wrong at all.

    March 12, 2013 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  19. The Elephant in the Room

    Laura –

    I stand 6` 2 " @ 240 lbs. and they scare me too!

    Actually it IS the party, not some Reuplican politicians, that is frightening. The party [Romney and others] didn`t stand up to Limbaugh when he maligned Sandra Fluke; the party didn`t catigate Nugent; the "party" runs up the deficit with unfunded wars to started on manufactured evidence; the "party" supports high capacity magazines and assault weapons in the wake of Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, etc.; the "party" uses "dog whistle" phrases to appeal to racists; the party seeks to subvert the law Roe vs Wade by way of a co-ordinated nationwide strategy to attack abortion rights on a state by state basis; the party frightens me because they don`t support equal pay for equal work [always standing in the plantiffs way as they pursue justice.]

    True Americans, be they white, asian, latino, black, gay, staright, male or female, urban or suburban have many reasons to FEAR the Republican Party.

    March 12, 2013 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  20. Marie MD

    Please go home laura. We don't need to hear from you or jeb or your husband that the rethugs are not i tune with the world.
    This coming frrom the librarian who married money.

    March 12, 2013 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  21. jack

    Her husband was one of them.

    March 12, 2013 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  22. Expat American

    Women are merely one group that the 'New GOP' has alienated with its disdainful and hateful agenda.

    March 12, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  23. Don

    There is at least one Bush the GOP should listen to. She is 100% right

    March 12, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  24. Tony

    That is why i like this woman she calls it as she sees it.

    March 12, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  25. GOP = Greed Over People

    But those candidates, Bush stated, “were the exception rather than the norm in the party.”

    Life must be sweet inside the Fox bubble for this Stepford bimbo in her gated Dallas mansion.

    She should have Queen Ann over for tea and crumpets and have a spirited discussion over the medical benefits of dressage ponies vs. the $77,000 tax loop for dressage ponies.

    March 12, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |