The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
November 19, 2005

Mrs. Bush's Interview by Yonhap News Service in Busan, Korea
Dong Nae Byel Jang Restaurant
Busan, Republic of Korea

1:55 P.M. (Local)

Q Thank you for allowing me your time. As the wife of a President, how do you, sort of, support your husband in times of hardship and decisive moments?

MRS. BUSH: Well, that's a very interesting question. We're very fortunate, my husband and I are, to have had a long marriage, to understand each other very well and I think we get a lot of comfort being with each other. But what I try to do is live a normal life.

We've faced a lot of stress, as you know; during the time that he's been President; the United States has had a lot of challenges, starting, of course, with the attacks on September 11th. But we both get a lot of strength from our faith and from our relationship with each other and our family.

Q And I believe that this is your second visit here?

MRS. BUSH: That's right.

Q As you know, there is some anti-U.S. sentiment in Korea right now, and also some anti-Korean sentiment back in the States. What is your opinion on this, as the First Lady?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I don't know of a lot of anti-Korean sentiments in the United States; I don't think that's the case, at all.

Of course, you know, these are difficult times. The United States has made a lot of difficult decisions and I understand that everyone doesn't agree with those around the world. But I do think most people in Korea know that we are strong allies, that our two countries are friends and have been for a long time, and that we're close allies with each other. And I hope they know that; I hope the people of Korea understand the friendship that we have.

I also want to thank the people of Korea for being the host for APEC. It's been a really wonderful conference. We've had a terrific time, all the leaders who are here for APEC. Last night was the culmination of it, with the terrific program that President Roh and Mrs. Kwan had for us, and we appreciate that very much.

Q How are you, sort of, building the friendship between you and the South Korean First Lady? I mean, you've met her a couple of times.

MRS. BUSH: We've met several times. She's been to the White House to visit me; I've been here, of course, to see her. And we've met at other international meetings, like APEC, when it was in Chile last year, or the United Nations General Assembly in Washington.

Really, I think all the spouses of leaders feel like we're sort of in the same club, if you know what I mean. We all face the same challenges - the challenges of family life in public life, of trying to do the very best we can for our country, being the most constructive we can with the issues that we work on for each of our countries. So there's really sort of a natural friendship between the spouses, all of the spouses, and certainly with Mrs. Kwan.

Q Okay. And, also, your mother-in-law was also the former First Lady.

MRS. BUSH: That's right.

Q Does she give you any advice?

MRS. BUSH: She loves to give me advice - you might know, if you knew anything about Barbara Bush, you would know that she likes to give everyone advice. But she tries to refrain from it because she knows that daughter-in-laws probably don't want that much advice from their mother-in-laws.

And she's terrific. She's a wonderful mother-in-law and I've learned a lot from just watching her over the years.

Q One more question. If your two daughters, Jenna and Barbara, if they said that they would like to go into politics -

MRS. BUSH: Would I recommend it? (Laughter.) Sure, if they're interested in that, I think that would be great. I don't think they're interested - certainly, not now - in going into politics. But since they've been born, their grandfather was Vice President and then President, and their father has been President. So they've seen politics up close and they know that it's difficult - you're criticized a lot. And, of course, when you love the person that's the President, that's difficult. But they also know that there are many, many ways you can be helpful for your country as a politician.

Q All right. Thank you very much for your time.

MRS. BUSH: Thank you all. And thanks to everyone in Korea for being such great hosts for APEC. Thank you.

END 2:00 P.M. (Local)

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