Barbara Bush, whose husband and son were both U.S. presidents, died Tuesday night at age 92 at her home in Houston.

Bush — the greatly respected wife of Republican former President George H.W. Bush and mother of George W. Bush — was treated in a hospital for pneumonia in December 2013. She received surgery for a perforated ulcer in 2008 and also underwent heart surgery shortly afterwards.

Family spokesman Jim McGrath announced her death in a statement, in which he added that she chose not to seek further medical treatment.

Bush’s son George W., the 43rd president, remembered his mother fondly in an interview with Fox Business in Dallas on Wednesday.

“She was warm and wonderful to you — till you got out of line,” said the former president. “She was awesome.”

George Bush also revealed a joke his mother once told her doctor.

“You want to know why George W. is the way he is?” he said his mother asked her physician. “Because I drank and smoke while I was pregnant with him.”

The former president also said his mother believed in the afterlife, and that “she’ll be wonderfully received in the arms of the loving God.”

Barbara Bush is the only woman in U.S. history besides Abigail Adams to be both a First Lady and to have a son become president. Bush is also the mother of Jeb, who served as governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007 and unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for president in 2016.

After President Donald Trump mocked Jeb several times early in the 2016 election cycle, Barbara Bush fired back by calling out Trump for his sexism, his disrespectful comments about the military, and his overall cruelty.

Surprisingly, she was asked on the Today show in 2013 if she believed Jeb should run for president in 2016, and she said she didn’t think this was a good idea, as the Bush dynasty had already left its mark in leading the nation.

“There are other people out there that are very qualified, and we’ve had enough Bushes,” said Barbara.

Bush eventually changed her mind.

Although Barbara Bush rarely revealed her stances on major social or political issues, at least publicly, there were some causes that she ardently supported and made efforts to improve. Among these were literacy and civil rights.

Bush was also known for being very blunt, although her comments caused backlash in a few instances. While traveling to Houston, Texas, in 2005 to meet with victims of Hurricane Katrina who were seeking shelter in the Astrodome, she said several of the people “were underprivileged anyway” and that living in the stadium — despite the rough conditions — was “working very well for them.”

Barbara Bush’s remarks were widely regarded as offensive, on top of her son’s administration’s handling of the damage caused by the storm being severely criticized. George Bush’s approval rating following the hurricane was among the lowest of his eight years in office.

Former First Lady Laura Bush also praised her mother-in-law, and noted how much of an influence she was on her and her own daughters.

“She was a great role model for me, for sure. I learned how to be a first lady,” Laura Bush said on Fox Business. “She was really a wonderful grandmother to Barbara and Jenna.”

Jenna Bush Hager recently called her grandmother “a fighter.”

“She’s an enforcer. She reminded me not to believe everything you read, so we’re grateful for her, for everybody’s prayers and thoughts, and just know the world is better because she’s in it,” Bush Hager, a correspondent for NBC News, said on NBC’s Today show Monday. “We are grateful for her. She is the best grandma anybody could have ever had — or have.”

Here are other tributes to Barbara Bush, including from Bill and Hillary Clinton. 


Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android

Leave a comment