Former first lady Barbara Bush spent a second day in New Hampshire on Friday campaigning for her son, Jeb Bush, and displayed her signature wit along the way.
She's known as "The Silver Fox" or "The Enforcer" in the Bush Family and is famous for speaking her mind — sometimes to the political detriment of her husband and sons. On Friday, she stopped by MaryAnn's Diner in Derry, N.H., with the presidential candidate and other relatives.
The Bush campaign limited coverage of the event to a "pool" reporter and one television camera, claiming that the anticipated press interest would overwhelm the greasy spoon establishment. So here are highlights from the pool report by Michael C. Bender of Bloomberg News:
ON GEORGE H.W. BUSH:
Asked how 41 is feeling: "Pretty good," she says. "He's got Parkinson's."
"But he's great, he's funny. He doesn't complain. He's very sweet, still."
ON HER SONS:
Talking to Bob and Cathy Kuechler and their two boys, Matthew & Christian, who had school cancelled due to snow, Barbara tells the mother that she has four boys and one girl. "We tried for that little girl, but it wasn't meant to be, so that's okay," Cathy Kuechler tells her.
"Well you have to keep trying," Barbara tells them.
"Oh no, not anymore," Bob says.
Barbara compliments them on their "good looking boys." Cathy says they're easy.
"Mine weren't," Barbara said. "In case you were interested. Mine occasionally fought. Not argue. Literally fought."
"That's what's made my marriage work for 71 years," she continued. "George Bush won't argue. I mean, he may not agree, but he will not argue. That's very frustrating."
Asked if she still visits Kennebunkport, Barbara says: "Half the year, minus a day. Taxes are big in Maine."
ON MIKE BLOOMBERG:
Walking to the next table, the pooler identifies himself as a Bloomberg News reporter and asks Barbara how it feels to be back campaigning in NH. "I feel good. Is Bloomberg, is that related to Mike? I saw him the other day. He's a great man, a great mayor."
Before leaving, she wants to return to the subject of the former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP. She says she enjoyed a speech he gave at Harvard, which she says Bloomberg sent to her. "He was a great mayor," she says. "But I don't want him to run for president. That would just give the vote to Hillary."
ON HOW 2016 COMPARES TO PREVIOUS CYCLES:
Pooler asks the former first lady to compare the current race to previous races involving her husband and son. "I don't think I campaigned for George up here. I may have. I've forgotten. I'm 90. I forget. But it's great to be back in New Hampshire. The people have great values. Now I'm going to go over and see this crowd."