Jenna Bush Hager got serious about her ailing grandmother, former first lady Barbara Bush, on the “Today” show Monday morning.
“She’s the best grandma anybody could have ever had — or have,” said Hager, catching herself quickly, during a brief interview on the show.
Bush, who is battling multiple ailments including congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, will no longer seek medical intervention and instead “focus on comfort care” at home with her family — including her husband of 73 years, former president George H.W. Bush — according to a statement published Sunday
Appearing to hold back tears, Hager called her grandmother “a fighter” on Monday’s show. She also added that, after speaking with Bush the night before, the former first lady reminded her granddaughter “not to believe everything you read.”
“Just know,” Hager continued, “that the world is better because she’s in it.”
Bush, 92, who is only the second woman in American history to be both the wife and mother of a president, once described herself as “the luckiest woman in the world” in a one-on-one interview with Hager two years ago. On her 90th birthday, Bush sat down with the NBC correspondent and explained why their family calls her “the enforcer.”
“Well, because I enforce,” Bush said. “You do something bad, I point it out to you.” The former first lady added that she was the one who stood up for Hager when the young woman stuck her tongue out to reporters during the 2004 presidential campaign. When Hager joked that her grandmother had been wanting to do the same for years, the outspoken former first lady jokingly answered, “Every American has.”