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Former first lady Michelle Obama and former President George W. Bush have developed a close-knit friendship in the last few years that has gotten mixed reactions.
And former President Bush thinks those viral reactions are a bit of a problem, he told CBS Sunday Morning in an interview on Sunday (April 18).
“It shocked me,” the 74-year-old said as he responded to a moment in 2016 during the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. A photo of himself and Mrs. Obama went viral as the two were captured sharing a hug.
He continued: “We got in the car and I think Barbara or Jenna said, ‘Hey, you’re trending!’ The American people were so surprised that Michelle Obama and I could be friends. I think it’s a problem that Americans are so polarized in their thinking that they can’t imagine a George W. Bush and a Michelle Obama being friends.”
Additional viral moments between the duo have also gone viral on social media including Bush giving Mrs. Obama a cough drop at Senator John McCain’s funeral in 2018. Mrs. Obama just months later would console Bush at his father, President George H.W. Bush’s funeral.
That same year the former FLOTUS shared in an interview with the Today show that she and Bush are “forever seatmates,” explaining that the seating protocols for former presidents and their spouses at official events have specific guidelines.
“He is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather,” she said. “I love him to death. He’s a wonderful man. He’s a funny man.”
Watch former president George Bush’s interview with CBS Sunday Morning below: