President Trump spoke about the passing of Barbara Bush today in his opening remarks at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe:
He started out:
“For decades Barbara was a titan in American life. Her presence and character were engraved into America’s identity.”
“Her strength and toughness really embodied the spirit of our country and her warmth and devotion earned the admiration of an entire nation and indeed the entire world,” he explained. “She was a tireless champion for literacy. She was a fierce advocate for the American family, and she was a woman of proud patriotism and profound faith. Our hearts are saddened by her passing, but our spirits are lifted by the memories of her goodness and her grace.”
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Then came a little self deprecating humor that was spot on:
“Melania and I send our prayers to Barbara’s husband of 73 years,” POTUS continued. “I’ll never beat that record, President George H.W. Bush.”
President Trump also reached out to extend his condolences to “Jeb and Neil and Marvin, Dorothy, and former president George W. Bush and to their many wonderful grand children and great grand children.”
Well said, Mr. President.
BARBARA BUSH WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN:
A spokesperson announced today that Barbara Bush died only days after announcing she was at home declining medical treatment after a series of health setbacks: She had “decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care.” It has also been reported that the former First Lady was battling congestive heart failure: Having been hospitalized numerous times while battling congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she decided Sunday that she wanted to be “surrounded by a family she adores.”
Jim McGrath, a family spokesman, announced the death in a statement posted to Twitter.
The Bushes had celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January, making them the longest-married couple in presidential history.
ABC News reports:
As the wife of the 41st president and the mother of the 43rd, George W. Bush, Mrs. Bush was only the second woman in American history to have a son of hers follow his father to the White House. (Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams, was the first.)
Another son, Jeb, the governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Dedicated to her family and largely indifferent to glamour, Mrs. Bush played down her role in her husband’s political success. But she was a shrewd and valuable ally, becoming a sought-after speaker in at least four national campaigns: in 1980, when Mr. Bush was chosen to be Ronald Reagan’s running mate; in 1984, when the two ran for re-election; in 1988, when Mr. Bush campaigned for president; and in 1992, when he sought re-election.
She stepped into another presidential campaign in 2000, that of her son George, then the governor of Texas. She appeared at fund-raisers and met voters in New Hampshire and other states on his behalf as he rolled to the Republican presidential nomination.
She was clearly a political asset. A 1999 poll found that 63 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of her and that only 3 percent had an unfavorable one.
PRESIDENT TRUMP RELEASED A STATEMENT: