Did Laura Bush hint she’d choose Hillary over Trump?

By Chelsea Schilling

Former first lady Laura Bush discusses politics and the 2016 election at the 2016 Women in the World Summit
Former first lady Laura Bush discusses politics and the 2016 election at the 2016 Women in the World Summit

Did former first lady Laura Bush just hint that she would rather see Hillary Clinton in the White House than Donald Trump?

“I want our next president – whoever he or she might be – to be somebody who is interested in women in Afghanistan and who will continue U.S. policies … that we continue to do what we’re committed to do as a country,” she said at the annual Women in the World summit in New York Thursday.

“That’s who I want – are the kind of people that will do that and will pay attention to our history, and know what’s happened before and know specifically how we can continue to do the good things that we do around the world.”

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Mrs. Bush who has been promoting her new book, “We are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope,” was careful not to specifically endorse any candidate for the presidency.

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Nonetheless, Mrs. Clinton provided a cover endorsement for her new Afghan book.

“For over a decade, Laura Bush has been an ally and advocate for the women of Afghanistan and, in particular, has worked to ensure that the voices of Afghan women are heard,” Mrs. Clinton wrote.

Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton provides cover endorsement for former first lady Laura Bush's new book, "We are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope"
Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton provides cover endorsement for former first lady Laura Bush’s new book, “We are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope”

Mrs. Bush, who was raised a Democrat, has broken with her husband, former President George W. Bush, on some social issues.

In 2010, she announced her support for legalizing same-sex marriage and keeping abortion legal:

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Hillary and women’s rights in Afghanistan

As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton reportedly devoted herself to advocating for women’s rights in Afghanistan, visiting the nation four times and calling the issue a nonnegotiable “red line” for America. During her visits, Mrs. Clinton made promises of support and announced extra U.S. funding for women and children’s health projects.

“We will not abandon you,” she pledged.

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In April 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported, “Among senior U.S. officials, none is more closely associated with women’s rights: When prominent Afghan women are alarmed by developments at home, they often fire off emails to Clinton’s staff.”

Wazhma Frogh, director of the Research Institute for Women, Peace and Security in Kabul told the Times, “She has been a very strong conscience of the world on this issue. We have leaned on her help in the past, and we are looking to her help for our future.”

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Vote for Trump? ‘Don’t ask that’

Mrs. Bush doesn’t appear to be warming to the idea of a Trump presidency. Just last month, she refused to say whether she would vote for the GOP front-runner.

“I’m not going to answer,” she told Susan Page on USA Today’s “Capital Download.” “Don’t ask that.”

Watch the interview:

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After she was questioned about Trump’s plan for a temporary ban on non-citizen Muslims entering the U.S., Mrs. Bush warned of anyone who might impose “a religious test in the United States.”

“One of the reasons we’re a country is because we believe in freedom of religion,” she said. “We believe that people could be religious. They could choose any religion that they wanted to, or they could not worship, if they didn’t want to. We don’t have any religious test in the United States. And that’s what we need to remember. We need to remember what our values are.”

Mrs. Bush continued, “We have a tendency in the United States, and it’s happened in other times in our history, to become sort of isolationist and xenophobic and, you know, we’re just going to stay here together and not pay attention to the rest of the world.”

Laura Bush tells Bill: ‘Stand back and be quiet’

In February, Mrs. Bush stunned C-SPAN viewers when she was asked about the possibility of Bill Clinton becoming America’s first “first gentleman.”

The famously reserved former first lady gave the former president a piece of advice: “Stand back and be quiet.”

She suggested Mr. Clinton could take up a role similar to that of many first ladies.

“I don’t know. It’ll be interesting, when it finally happens, what the first gentleman will do,” she said. “I hope they’ll take on men’s health, perhaps.”

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