Laura Bush says every president faces unfair criticism

August 27, 2010

Former first lady Laura Bush says every president is unfairly criticized and it comes from both friends and foes.

She spoke to ABC’s “Good Morning America” from the Gulf Coast, where she is on a visit for the fifth anniversary of  Hurricane Katrina. USA/LAURABUSHHer husband, former President George W. Bush and his administration were sharply criticized for slow federal response to the disaster.

“The differences are huge now, five years later. Each time I came there was a little bit of improvement, but really now I think after five years things are starting to look great,” she said.

She was asked about writing in her book about the criticism her husband faced for flying over New Orleans after Katrina and not stopping, but said there was a purpose behind that.

“If Air Force One had landed in New Orleans that day, all of the assets that were actually being used to help people, the first responders, many of those first responders would be required to go to the airport even just from Air Force One  landing. And he knew that and he didn’t want to use any of the assets that were being used in other ways to rescue people,” she said.

Laura Bush says her husband writes about it in his upcoming book as well — “that he realizes that that was a mistake, that it looked like he didn’t care.”

She was asked whether she felt the Obama family was now experiencing the criticism from all sides that her family had during UStheir White House years.

“Well sadly I think it’s just a part of life for the president and the president’s family, and it’s too bad really, because it comes from every direction — from your friends and your foes and I think that’s too bad,” she said.

“But I am really proud of the way George handled it. I think he handled it in a very presidential way really, knowing that that’s part of it. And we did know that that was part of it because of course we’d been the children of a president ourselves and we’d seen President Bush, George’s dad, criticized in a way that we knew was unfair,” she said.

“So I wish, I hope, that Americans would just take a step back and a deep breath and realize that people who are serving in public office are truly that — servants.”

She will be visiting a school and will speak at a breakfast today.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Lee Celano (Laura Bush tours small-scale Katrina Cottages in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, in 2007); Reuters/Mannie Garcia (View of flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina as seen from Air Force One during an overflight of New Orleans Aug. 31, 2005)

2 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

George Bush found it remarkably funny when people died, whether it was 911, the troops he send for shock and awe or the hundreds of thousands of civilians who died in agony from his psychotic ego or suffered from his oppressive policies and there are photos of his maniacal grin everytime he heard the bad news. He followed closely in the footsteps of his father who as head of the CIA and president was also responsible for numerous foreign genocides. I suppose you could make the case that Ted Bundy is also critized unfairly, but the public better realize when a personality is criminally insane before they elect one to president.

Posted by MarkDonners | Report as abusive

[...] For Toby Zakaria’s full blog, click here. [...]

[...] “So I wish, I hope, that Americans would just take a step back and a deep breath and realize that people who are serving in public office are truly that — servants.” Laura Bush says every president faces unfair criticism | Analysis & Opinion | [...]

Mark, your mind must be a dark place to live.

Posted by supremelysteve | Report as abusive