updated 1/22/2004 7:58:09 AM ET 2004-01-22T12:58:09

With Campaign 2004 in full swing, first lady Laura Bush is ready to apply “a grain of salt” to persistent Democratic criticism of her husband.

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“I know this is our last campaign, whatever happens, and I think there will be a sense of nostalgia with that,” Mrs. Bush said in an interview Thursday on CBS’s “The Early Show.”

President Bush’s wife noted that the Democratic Party is heavily involved in a delegate-selection process to choose the candidate who will oppose Bush in November. Asked if she gets upset when opponents harshly criticize her husband, Mrs. Bush replied, “Sure.”

“It’s just a fact of life in American politics, and I know that,” she said. “But also, I think you become a little bit inured to it, but maybe you never do. You know it’s just a fact of life and you can take it with a grain of salt.”

Mrs. Bush, who has recently stepped up her involvement in the campaign by making a host of trips, said she expects to be even more visible as the November election approaches.

“I already have done a lot of fund-raisers for Bush-Cheney 04 and I will continue to do fund-raisers,” she said, “and I’m sure that as it gets down closer to the fall campaign, I’ll travel more with him.”

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