Laura Bush said Saturday that Hillary Rodham Clinton’s criticism of her husband’s administration was “out of bounds,” arguing that the former first lady should show some empathy for the current White House occupants.
Leading the U.S. delegation at the Winter Olympics in Turin, the first lady talked about a range of subjects, from the violent protests across the Muslim world over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to the quality of the U.S. Olympic team. She was interviewed by ABC and CBS.
Clinton, the New York senator and a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, has called the Bush administration “one of the worst” in history. In the interview with ABC News, Mrs. Bush was asked if Clinton’s comments were “just politics, fair game or out of bounds.”
“Of course I think it’s out of bounds,” the first lady said. “But I think it’s politics, it’s certainly politics.”
Mrs. Bush pointed out that former Presidents Bush and Clinton and her husband are part of a unique club that also includes the wives.
“We know what it’s like to live in that house. We certainly know what it’s like to have your husband criticized,” Mrs. Bush said. “So I think there’s a certain empathy that we might have for each other that we wouldn’t have maybe for somebody else who said something like that.”
At the Olympics, Italian police have increased security for Denmark’s team after cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad appeared in a Danish publication, fearing that the squad would be a target.
Mrs. Bush called the cartoons “reprehensible” and also said the United States and other world leaders should speak out about the violence.
“If we resort to violence, it’s very, very difficult to have any sort of dialogue,” she said.
On a sporting note, she described the U.S. team as “a really wonderful Olympic team with so many cute young people — a few older people as well.”
Pressed on what sport she would compete in, Mrs. Bush said skiing.
“I mean, I can’t do any of those things. I can’t skate or ski. But they’re so much fun to watch,” she said.