Barbara Bush’s death prompts outpouring of support from politicians, public figures
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(HOUSTON) — Politicians and public figures took to social media Tuesday evening to express condolences to the Bush family over the loss of former first lady Barbara Bush.
The matriarch of the Bush dynasty died Tuesday at the age of 92. She had recently decided to forgo further medical treatment for her failing health.
Many remembered Mrs. Bush for her elegance and sharp wit.
Mrs. Bush’s son, George W. Bush, released a statement saying that while he, his wife and children are “sad” that she is gone, their “souls are settled” because they know “hers was.”
“Barbara Bush was a fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love and literacy to millions,” George W. Bush said. “To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”
Another one of Mrs. Bush’s sons, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said in a statement that he is “exceptionally privileged to be the son of George Bush and the exceptionally gracious, gregarious, fun, funny, loving, tough, smart, graceful woman who was the force of nature known as Barbara Bush.”
George P. Bush, grandson of Barbara Bush
Mrs. Bush’s grandson, George P. Bush, tweeted that she focused her “entire life” on others and was the “top adviser and confidante” to his grandfather, George H.W. Bush.
President Donald Trump
In a statement, President Donald Trump said that he and first lady Melania Trump have joined the nation “in celebrating the life of Barbara Bush” as a wife, mother, grandmother, military spouse and former first lady.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described Mrs. Bush as “always a friend to Canada” who “leaves a legacy of dignity, grace, service and devotion to family.”
Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama wrote in a statement that Mrs. Bush “was the rock of a family dedicated to public service.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with both Presidents Bush and the entire Bush family tonight,” the Obamas wrote. “We’ll always be grateful to Mrs. Bush for the generosity she showed to us throughout our time in the White House, but we’re even more grateful for the way she lived her life — as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit.”
The Obamas wrote that Mrs. Bush “will be remembered for passing those American values on to her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren — and to the countless citizens whom she and George inspired to become ‘points of light’ in service to others.”
Former President Bill Clinton remembered Mrs. Bush for her “grit, grace, brains and beauty.”
Former Vice President Al Gore described Mrs. Bush as a “pillar of strength for her family” who “was much admired in our country.”
“Both the wife and mother of a U.S. president, she will be remembered for her service, pragmatism, and strong, kind spirit,” Gore wrote.
In a statement, former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter said they are “saddened” by the death of Mrs. Bush, who “touched the hearts of millions with her warmth, generosity, and keen wit.”
“The matriarch of a family dedicated to serving, she urged volunteerism as a way for all citizens to participate in our nation’s progress,” the Carters said in the statement. “Through her own work to promote literacy as a value in every American home, countless families now have the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in all aspects of their lives. She will be missed.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wrote on Twitter that Mrs. Bush “raised a family of service & character” and “stood by her beloved husband in the best & worst of times.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan wrote in a statement, “Barbara Bush holds a revered place in the hearts of generations of Americans.”
“She [is] so loved by her family and our country,” Ryan wrote. “She led both with clarity and character. She shined a light on the power of a parent reading to a child. Her husband, our 41st president, wrote in his last days in office: ‘History will show that she was beloved because she was real and she cared and she gave of herself.’ Who could say it better?”
John H. Sununu, former governor of New Hampshire and chief of staff for President George H.W. Bush
John Sununu, chief of staff for President George H.W. Bush, wrote that Mrs. Bush’s “passing is a terrible loss for the Bush family, the Sununu family and for all America.”
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, son of John Sununu, wrote that “no one personified the idea that we must strive to leave the world better than we found it more than she did.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote that Mrs. Bush had a “unique and profound impact on our country.”
“Spearheading the fight against illiteracy, she created the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, working to improve the lives of those less fortunate through education,” Abbott wrote in a statement. “Her selfless devotion to service defines the inspiring legacy Barbara has left behind. Her impact on Texas and our nation will be forever treasured.”
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
In a statement, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards described Mrs. Bush as “an incredible first lady who served alongside her husband with class, grace and dignity” and lauded her strife to end illiteracy.
“Mrs. Bush lived a vibrant life based on her abiding faith and deep love for her family and friends,” Edwards wrote. “A staunch supporter for global literacy, she not only understood the immense value of knowing how to read and write but the true impact it could have on helping others lead a better life.”
ABC News’ “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir remembered Mrs. Bush for her “fighting spirit.”
The Baker Institute for Public Policy
James A. Baker, III, the honorary chair of the Baker Institute, wrote in a statement that Mrs. Bush was a “beloved friend who was a passionate voice for volunteerism and the view that everyone should believe in something larger than self.”
“Barbara Bush challenged each of us to build a better world by empowering people through literacy,” Baker wrote. “As only one of two women in American history who can be called first lady and first mother, she was matriarch of a family that remains as dedicated to public service as it was to politics. We Americans were fortunate to have had Barbara and George Bush as one of the best First Couples of all time. We send our deepest love and affection to President Bush and to his entire family.”
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