For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
August 31, 2004
Interview of First Lady Laura Bush by E.d. Hill of Fox News
7:20 A.M. EDT
Q First Lady Laura Bush. Good morning.
MRS. BUSH: Good morning.
Q Well, what can we expect from your speech tonight?
MRS. BUSH: Tonight, I'll be talking about the President, of course. That's why I'll be there.
Q If you were to sum up exactly why you think he is the best man for the job, what would be top of your list?
MRS. BUSH: Well, obviously, the top of my list is because I think he has the character and the integrity and the resolve to be President during these very difficult times. And I also think the American people know that. I think the American people have watched him as we faced each of the challenges we've faced in our country over the last three years. And so I want to talk about the personal moments, the times that I've seen him when other people haven't seen him, as we faced these difficult challenges.
Q Everyone does have defining moments in their life where something inside of them either changes or solidifies. And you talk about the integrity and the character.
In your day-to-day life over the past number of years together, what are the times that you see that sort of -- the character that you talk about, the integrity that you talk about, come out most strongly?
MRS. BUSH: Well, I think I've really seen it since we married. I mean, that was one of the things I loved about him when we met. I loved his sense of humor, because I knew he would make me laugh. But I also loved his resolve and his ambition and his seriousness.
Under that sense of humor is a serious personality. And I've seen a lot of different times over the years, when we had our babies, for instance, or when his father was running for President, and then certainly since he has been President, I've seen that steely resolve that he has that I think is very, very important, very strong character that he has. And it's really important in times like we've had for the last three years in our country.
Q Do you believe that he feels a touch of sorrow sometimes when he looks at Iraq? I know that overall he firmly believes that we did the right thing there, that the -- for the general population, things are much better and will be better in the future. But you still have that group of people that will complain. You know, why did the Americans come in here and mess up our life? Even the soccer team. I know that we were sort of furious about that. The soccer team that was tortured by one of the Hussein boys is complaining about the Americans. So there's got to be a little bit of that conflict.
MRS. BUSH: Well, sure, of course. But the very, very difficult part is that a President has to decide -- this is the hardest decision a President ever has to make -- and that's whether to send the men and women of the United States military into harm's way. And that's what's been really difficult, when we've met families who have lost somebody there.
And that also I think really steels our resolve and certainly steels his resolve to make sure we complete the mission and that none of those lives were lost in vain. And we are. We're winning it. When we look around the world today, when we see in Afghanistan that 10 million people have registered to vote in their upcoming elections, including 40 percent of those people are women, that's just unbelievable. We wouldn't have thought that three years ago, that Afghanistan could be on their way to elections and that women can be a part of that.
And then when you look at Pakistan, now our ally in the war on terror, at Libya who is now -- Qaddafi is now dismantling their nuclear program. In Iraq, where Saddam Hussein is in a prison cell and where the Iraqi Governing Council is responsible now in Iraq, it's really unbelievable in such a very, very short time.
And is it difficult? Of course. And are there many more challenges? Absolutely. But we've really come a very long way.
Q I recall when my dad switched jobs how the dynamic between my parents changed, when he went from working full time to working part time and then going back full time again. During this first presidential term, how has your relationship with the President changed?
MRS. BUSH: I think our relationship has gotten even better. We're very, very fortunate that we had a really good, strong marriage before he became President. But I think those moments that we've been together, with these very difficult moments for our country and the difficult decisions that my husband has had to make, I think we've really -- our relationship has really strengthened because we had each other during these difficult times.
There's one thing about politics. You'll always have opponents in politics, and it certainly doesn't need to be your spouse. So I think really we -- because we've been involved in politics for the last few years, that our marriage is even better.
Q You talked about the girls a bit. And certainly they have been out on the campaign trail, much more visible now. And I heard that there was some real concern about the whole wrestling team wanting to date them over in Greece. (Laughter.) I do not envy you being the mother of two gorgeous girls. But what are you going to be doing with them? I believe you'll be here in New York at the same time. Will you be able to get together a bit here?
MRS. BUSH: Sure. We're at the same hotel. And today, when I get to New York, I'm going to the big luncheon, the big Federation of Republican Women, FEDPAC luncheon. The girls are going to introduce me there. And I'm really looking forward to it.
Q You said that you were telling them to stand up straight and to keep their hair out of their face. Doing a better job of that now?
MRS. BUSH: I think they're doing a pretty good job of it. (Applause.)
Q We appreciate your time this morning.
MRS. BUSH: Thanks so much.
END 7:26 A.M. EDT