George W. Bush ‘shocked’ by reaction over his friendship with Michelle Obama

  • Michelle Obama had earlier opened up about her friendship with George W. Bush, saying she found common ground with the former president despite contrasting views.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kunal Gaurav, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

PUBLISHED ON APR 20, 2021 04:05 PM IST

Former United States president George W. Bush said that he was “shocked” by people’s reaction over his friendship with former first lady Michelle Obama. During a CBS Sunday Morning show, Bush, a Republican, reflected on his across-the-aisle relationship with Michelle Obama as he recalled the memorable moment of the duo embracing at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

They also grabbed headlines when Bush handed cough drops to Obama at the memorial service for late Senator John McCain and at the funeral for his father George H.W. Bush.

“It shocked me,” the former president said, stressing that the polarisation among Americans has impacted their imagination.

“We got in the car and I think Barbara or Jenna said, ‘Hey, you’re trending!’ The American people were so surprised that Michelle Obama and I could be friends. I think it’s a problem that Americans are so polarised in their thinking that they can’t imagine a George W. Bush and a Michelle Obama being friends,” he added.

Also Read: Trump shuns ‘ex-presidents club’ — and the feeling is mutual

While Donald Trump made anti-immigrant rhetoric a centrepiece of his presidential campaign, Bush supports the pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in case they pass background checks and pay back taxes. He told CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell that a more respectful attitude to those who come to the United States will help lead to reform of the immigration system.

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Michelle Obama had earlier opened up about her friendship with Bush, saying she found common ground with the former president despite contrasting views. In an interview with Jenna Bush Harger, Bush’s daughter, Obama said that they disagree on policy but not on humanity. “Our values are the same,” she said.

“We disagree on policy but we don’t disagree on humanity. We don’t disagree about love and compassion. I think that’s true for all of us…I had the opportunity to sit next to your father at funerals – the highs and lows…We shared stories about our kids and about our parents,” Obama added.

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