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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 1, 2008

Interview of the First Lady by FOX and Friends
Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul, Minnesota

6:02 A.M. CDT

Q Good morning to Mrs. Bush, who joins me here -- Laura Bush -- on the set and scene of where the Republican National Convention is supposed to be happening, Mrs. Bush. But of course, not a lot of activity here today because all the festivities have been cancelled, including your own speech, which was supposed to be tonight.

MRS. BUSH: That's right. I was supposed to speak tonight, but that's been cancelled. But I'm still going to do things all day today. I'm going to drop by and see the Louisiana delegation with Cindy McCain this morning. We're going to go to their breakfast. There's a luncheon that's planned for today that will go on. All the delegates are here, and I know every one of them are thinking about what's happening on the Gulf Coast and are worried about the people who are down there, and worried about damage from the hurricane to all the Gulf Coast. And so they certainly understand why all of these events have been cancelled, but still, I know they're disappointed.

Q Yes, of course, disappointed. Somebody else who might be disappointed is your husband, who's the President of the United States, who has currently planted himself, or about to, down in Texas to be prepared for what may happen with this storm.

MRS. BUSH: That's right.

Q He was supposed to be here tonight and speak, as well.

MRS. BUSH: He was going to come tonight and be here. Both of us were going to speak tonight. This is my eighth Republican Convention. I can't believe I'm that old, but I've been to eight of them.

Q Trust me, this woman looks great, up close and personal. (Laughter.) We were just discussing exercise tips. She looks wonderful from yoga -- right?

MRS. BUSH: That's right.

Q All right, so the President was going to give his speech tonight. I understand he may address at some point the convention via satellite?

MRS. BUSH: That's a possibility. We'll see what -- I think they're just going day by day to see what will happen. Obviously, the convention has business. They'll be called to order today and do their regular business, the nomination of their candidate, John McCain, and the nomination of their vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, which I'm so excited and thrilled about -- both of our candidates. But -- so the members of the convention will -- the delegates will have to go in and do their regular business. But the celebration part, the big speeches, those things have been cancelled for tonight, and then we'll see tonight whether or not --

Q How it transpires. But isn't it, Mrs. Bush, a no-win situation for a political candidate right now, speaking of John McCain, because if he goes down to the location and he's not here, then some people will say, well, he may not get the bounce that he's supposed to get from being at the convention; however, if he's up here and he's not paying attention to what's going on down there, then the same reaction? You can't win.

MRS. BUSH: Well, I think, you know, everyone understands; certainly, every Republican delegate that's here, everyone, all of John McCain's supporters understand that this is just what happened, and that everyone, the focus of everyone in the country, is on the Gulf Coast, and hoping that we won't have the damage. And fortunately, so many people have evacuated. So hopefully, people will be safe, and that's, of course, what's really important.

Q You know, I have to ask you, how does your husband feel about John McCain somewhat distancing himself from him as he continues his race? He wants to get to the White House. I mean, obviously, we heard from Barack Obama the other night saying, no more eight more years. But we also have the Republican candidate who really has not spent a lot of time with your husband.

MRS. BUSH: Well, I don't think there is anything unusual in that. If you look back at every single presidential race before this, you'll see that every presidential candidate runs -- they're running on their policies, on their characteristics, on their qualifications. And that's what John McCain is doing, and he's doing a really great job of it. And he is so qualified for -- to be President of the United States. I think that that's what we would expect every candidate to do, and that is run on their own qualifications and on their own experience.

And so I'm proud of John McCain for doing that. We're -- George and I will do whatever we can to make sure he's elected. We hope he will be elected, and we support him wholeheartedly.

Q And while the President's numbers are not that great with the general public right now, your numbers remain very high. Even Michelle Obama says that you are a wonderful role model as a First Lady.

MRS. BUSH: Well, that's nice. I appreciate that.

Q Let's talk about Sarah Palin a little bit, because you alluded to her just a moment ago. Have you ever met her, first of all?

MRS. BUSH: Sure, of course, I've met her. I've been -- I've met her at National Governors Association meetings when she's been to Washington for those. We were just with her August 4th on our way to Korea; on the way to the Olympics in China, we stopped in Alaska to refuel to see our troops there, and Governor Palin was with us there.

She's terrific. I'm thrilled that John McCain picked her. I'm going to get what I wanted, which is to be able to vote for a Republican woman. (Laughter.) And so I'm really, really excited about it. I think people, as they get to know her, are going to be so impressed with her grit and her sensible judgment. She's just a person who really, really has shown how terrific women can be, and how strong women can be in political office.

Q You used the word, "grit." Her nickname growing up was "Barracuda," I guess, which is a good thing. Her speech, when she was with John McCain last week, she said, look, it's time for women to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all. She's known as being tough as nails, a tax cutter, a reformer, a corruption buster. But this may be my favorite quote that she said; she's talking about life as a working mom: "I just put down the Blackberry and pick up the breast pump." (Laughter.) I mean, this is a woman of 2008 who really does it all.

MRS. BUSH: Does it all -- including five children. And I'm very proud that she's on our ticket.

Q Do you think she'll face the sexism from the media and from the general public that the Hillary Clinton people said that they faced?

MRS. BUSH: Possibly. You know, I think that's a possibility, although I think everyone is going to be particularly careful after -- I think the other side is going to have to be particularly careful, because I think that that is something that we all looked at.

Q All right. And, Mrs. Bush, any highlights of what you would have spoken about tonight?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I was going to speak about the qualifications of John McCain and about Cindy McCain, who I think is so terrific and has already done so many really great things internationally, visiting already just this summer, recently, in Tbilisi, Georgia, with the World Food Program. I was going to talk about my husband at this convention, and say a lot of things about him. So I'm sorry I'm not going to get that opportunity.

Q All right. Well, so grateful of you to sit down and chat with us this morning.

MRS. BUSH: Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Q Thanks very much. Good to see you again.

MRS. BUSH: Thanks a lot.

END 6:10 A.M. CDT

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