Entries in Barbara Bush (6)


George H. W. Bush on the Waltz That Changed His Life

Stefan Glidden/HBO(NEW YORK) -- Sixty-seven years of marriage all began with a waltz.  That’s what former president George H. W. Bush said in a new HBO documentary simply titled 41 about his own life, in his own words.

But it turns out when the 41st president “somehow” got up the nerve to ask then Barbara Pierce to dance at a holiday party, he didn’t know how to waltz. So they talked instead and he asked her out the next day.

It was stories like this that attracted longtime friend Jerry Weintraub to the project.  He is the executive producer of the film, which will be released to coincide with Bush’s 88th birthday next week.

“It shows him as a man.  It’s not just a documentary about a president.  It’s not him making big speeches and out there rallying the troops and so on and so forth.  It’s about his life,” Weintraub told ABC's Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos.

The two men have been friends for close to 50 years and Weintraub has a house near Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine.

“I’ve known his family for a very long time.  It comes from them.  They would never let him be a bragger.  And they’d never let him go out and say ‘Listen, I’m the greatest,’” Weintraub said.  “He worked his way up and I think he was the most prepared man that we ever had in our country to become president of the United States because he worked at underling jobs.”

Those jobs included ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee and director of the CIA.

Bush never wrote an autobiography about his time as president, so this documentary is in some way his verbal memoir.  And he opens up about personal moments, such as when his son was sworn in as president.

“Very emotional for me.  Very proud father.  First time it’s happened, I guess, in the history of our country except for the Adams’.  But it was mind boggling, it was enormous and a source of great pride for the family,” Bush says in the film.

Both father and son were on hand at the unveiling of former president George W. Bush’s portrait at the White House last week.  The elder Bush was in a wheelchair and Weintraub described his health as “not doing great” but “not terrible” either.

“He’s a very active guy.  When you get Parkinson’s and all of a sudden you’re riding around in a wheelchair and this and that, he can’t do things himself,” Weintraub said.

“It’s tough, but he can handle it because he’s had so much good in his life.  And he has his family around him and everything about him is family,” he added.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


George H.W. Bush Officially Endorses Romney

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Channeling country music legend Kenny Rogers, former President George H.W. Bush officially endorsed Mitt Romney in Houston on Thursday, advising Romney’s remaining opponents that they’ve got to know “when to fold ‘em.”

“I do think it’s time for the party to get behind Gov. Romney. And she was reminding me Kenny Rogers sang, ‘It’s time when to hold ‘em and time when to fold ‘em,’” Bush said, loosely quoting a lyric from the famous song “The Gambler.”  "Well I think it’s time for people to all get behind this good man. And, some of ‘em waged a very good fight -- I say that about some of his opponents. But we’re so convinced and we’ve known Mitt for a very long time, that he’s the man to do this job and get on and win the presidency.”

Bush had already expressed support for Romney last December, telling the Houston Chronicle at the time that the former Massachusetts governor was “the best choice.”

“Barbara and I are very proud to fully and enthusiastically endorse and support our old friend Mitt Romney,” the former president said, flanked by Romney and former first lady Barbara Bush. “He’s a good man, he’ll make a great president.”

Romney, who used the trip to Texas to raise money, accepted the endorsement.

“I have a big day coming up next Tuesday with elections in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia. I hope to get a good number of delegates from those three contests and be on my way to securing the nomination and taking on the president,” Romney said. “With your endorsement I’ll get a good boost from those contests and also here in Texas. I’m told they know you guys pretty well here.”

Looking ahead to the Lone Star State’s late May primary, Bush responded, “Been here a long time. You’ll do well here, I’m convinced of that.”

During the meeting, Romney was asked whether he had met with Bush’s son, former President George W. Bush.

“I haven’t met with President George W. Bush,” Romney said. “We speak from time to time.”

Barbara Bush interjected: “We speak all the time.”

At one point, Bush, who wore a white turtleneck, blue blazer and multi-colored socks (he gave a pair to Romney as a gift, according to the candidate’s personal aide), asked his wife whether she had anything to add.

“Aren’t you going to sing a song for us? Know when to fold ‘em?” she said, prompting the musical interlude. (Bush said the line, but did not sing it).

Rick Santorum’s spokesman, Hogan Gidley, saw Bush’s “Gambler” quote and raised him another one.

“We have huge respect for President George H.W. Bush and he is one of my personal political heroes,” Gidley said, “but my favorite line from that song is ‘there’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Barbara Bush, Hater of ‘Ugly’ Campaigns?

Bob Levey/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Barbara Bush said Monday that the Republican primary season is “too ugly” and she wishes it was over already.

“I’m worried about this campaign,” the wife of former President George H.W. Bush said on Fox News Monday evening. “Too ugly -- I really don’t like it, and I think it’s too bad, very much, for Mitt Romney.”

Bush gave a phone interview to the hosts of The Five, shortly after saying at a Southern Methodist University conference, “I think it’s been the worst campaign I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“I’m optimistic, but I would like this campaign to be over,” Bush said at the “first ladies conference.”

Bush has recorded an automatic phone message supporting Romney that has been sent to voters in Ohio. In her phone interview on Fox, she implored the conservative hosts not to dwell on Romney’s effort to brandish conservative credentials but rather to talk about his business background.

“He had to do what he had to do in Massachusetts,” the former first lady said.

For all her talk of a civil campaign, Bush has seen civility chucked out the window in a handful of presidential bids before 2012.

When her husband ran for president in 1988, Bush Sr. and his campaign manager Lee Atwater tied their opponent, Michael Dukakis, to Willie Horton in an effort to portray the former Massachusetts governor as responsible for the convicted felon’s post-furlough crimes.

Bush’s son, George W. Bush, was re-elected in 2004 with help from the “Swift Boat Veterans” group that questioned Sen. John Kerry’s Vietnam military service in ads that were so nasty they brought about the term “swiftboating.”

Even Barbara Bush herself has dipped into the mean pool. In 1984, she referred to vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro as “that $4 million -- I can’t say it, but it rhymes with rich.”

In her interview Monday, Bush scowled at the GOP in-fighting that has characterized the primary.

“I don’t like it at all,” she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Barbara Bush Robo-Calls For Mitt Romney In Ohio And Vermont

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- Former First Lady Barbara Bush recorded robo-calls for Mitt Romney in two Super Tuesday states: Ohio and Vermont.

“I’m supporting Mitt for one simple reason: America cannot survive four more years of Barack Obama, and Mitt is the man to lead America, and we need him now,” Bush says on the call, which is hitting households in both states ahead of Tuesday’s primaries.

On the call, Bush, wife of President George H.W. Bush, refers to Romney as “my friend.”

Donald Trump has also recorded an automated call for Romney, as he did in Michigan. Both of the calls were paid for by the Romney campaign.

Notably, Ann Romney has been talking up the former first lady’s support on the campaign trail. At an appearance in Georgia last week Mrs. Romney disclosed that Bush “maxed out” to the Romney campaign, writing a $2,500 check.

And in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, Mrs. Romney said Bush recently told her, “This is the most important election in my lifetime, and for a woman who was the wife of a president and the mother of a president, that’s quite astonishing.”

Ohio, where the race is tight between Romney and Rick Santorum, represents the second-largest delegate prize on Super Tuesday. Romney is expected to do well in Vermont, a state that borders two Romney strongholds—Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Here’s the Ohio script:

“Hi, this is Barbara Bush calling from Romney for President on behalf of my friend, Mitt Romney. The Ohio Republican Primary is next Tuesday, so I’m calling to remind you to vote for Mitt. I’m supporting Mitt for one simple reason:  America cannot survive four more years of Barack Obama, and Mitt is the man to lead America, and we need him now. If you have any questions, just call the Ohio campaign headquarters at 614-664-3485, or email us at Again don’t forget to vote for Mitt Tuesday night. Thank you for your time.”

Here’s the Vermont script:

“Hi, this is Barbara Bush calling from Romney for President on behalf of my friend, Mitt Romney.  The Vermont Republican Primary is next Tuesday, so I’m calling to remind you to vote for Mitt. I’m supporting Mitt for one simple reason:  America cannot survive four more years of Barack Obama, and Mitt is the man to lead America, and we need him now. If you have any questions, just call the Vermont campaign headquarters at (802) 242-1396, or email us at Again don’t forget to vote for Mitt on Tuesday. Thank you for your time. “

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Barbara Bush Campaigns for Same-Sex Marriage Rights

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Barbara Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, has joined her mother and a growing number of former administration officials in publicly expressing support for same-sex marriage.

Bush, who has never commented publicly on the issue, appears in a new online PSA video for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.

"I'm Barbara Bush and I'm a New Yorker for marriage equality," she says. "New York is about fairness and equality and everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. Join us."

The video, part of a series featuring high-profile New Yorkers, comes as rights advocates make a renewed push to legalize same-sex marriage in the Empire State, after the legislature blocked such a step in December 2009.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, former first lady Laura Bush, former Solicitor General Ted Olson and 2004 Bush campaign manager and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman all support same-sex marriage.

Their views -- and advocacy on the issue -- are significant given that opposition to gay marriage and a constitutional amendment banning it were key elements of Bush's 2004 reelection campaign.

The most recent ABC News-Washington Post poll showed a narrow divide on legalization of gay marriage, with 47 percent in favor and roughly 50 percent opposed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Takes On Barbara Bush, Entire Bush Family

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Calling the entire family “blue bloods,” Sarah Palin Wednesday dismissed criticism from former first Lady Barbara Bush who suggested that Palin should stay in Alaska instead of running for president.

During a recent interview with conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham, Palin said that critics like Bush don’t understand the importance of competitive primaries.

"I think the majority of Americans don't want to put up with the blue bloods -- and I say it with all due respect because I love the Bushes -- but the blue bloods who want to pick and choose their winners instead of allowing competition to pick and choose the winners,” Palin said.

Palin was responding to comments the former first lady made during a recent appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” in which she offered her unvarnished take on Palin’s possible presidential ambitions.

“I think she's very happy in Alaska,” Bush said, “and I hope she'll stay there.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio