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September 8th, 2009
07:33 AM ET

Laura Bush has praise for new first family

From Zain Verjee

PARIS, France (CNN) - Former first lady Laura Bush praised the performance of her husband's successor Monday, breaking with many Republicans in telling CNN that she thinks President Obama is doing a good job under tough circumstances.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Former first lady Laura Bush defended President Obama's decision to address the nation's schoolchildren."]

She also criticized Washington's sharp political divide during an interview covering a range of topics including her thoughts on first lady Michelle Obama, former Vice President Dick Cheney, the situation in Afghanistan and Myanmar, and life after eight tumultuous years in the White House.

Bush sat down with CNN on Monday during a United Nations meeting in Paris, France, where she was promoting global literacy, a cause she trumpeted during her husband's administration.

The typically reserved former first lady defended Obama's decision to deliver a back-to-school speech to students, putting her at odds with many conservatives afraid that the president will use the opportunity to advance his political agenda.

"I think he is [doing a good job]," Bush said when asked to assess Obama's job performance. "I think he has got a lot on his plate, and he has tackled a lot to start with, and that has probably made it more difficult."

Michelle Obama is also "doing great," she said, in part by turning the White House into a comfortable home for her family. Watch the interview Video

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Filed under: Politics
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. A I Morgan

    Thank you Mrs Bush for always being a 1st class lady.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  2. Margaret

    I applaud, former first lady Bush, for the candid and objective comments she made about President Obama! As a Democrat, it gives me some faith, that not all GOP members are so narrow minded! I am sure that the comments made by Mrs.Bush, came with a cost of some backlash from the GOP.however, she had the courage to voice her opinion.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  3. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Mrs. Bush having to remined Americans that it's there duty to respect a sitting president is sad it shows that some where along the way the American people have lost there pride for there country.

    September 8, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  4. jean sessoms

    I think the written speech is fine. I think Obama would have delivered
    a different speech had he not floated it and if the lesson plan had
    not been made public (Not by all outlets I must say).

    President Obama has a need to run for office and has not as yet
    become president of all people. He loves to read speeches .

    The people have seen him for what he is for and what he knows
    and it is not what the American people want.

    He gave a too many speeches so now the people are tired of
    what he is saying.

    September 8, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  5. Bernadette Loesch

    Dick Cheney is only trying to keep his form of history right. He is not interested in any form of truth! He ran the White House with an iron fist. George Bush had no choice but to follow Cheney's lead. Laura Bush will only state the party line. She cannot betray her party, her husband or Cheney.

    September 8, 2009 at 7:38 am |