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The quotable Barbara Bush: Read some of the first lady's most memorable quips

Read some of the former first lady's most memorable sayings, or share your own.

Former first lady Barbara Bush and daughter-in-law Laura Bush attend a dedication at the Nimitz Museum in Fredricksburg on Sept. 6, 1995.

Barbara Bush, who died at the age of 92 Tuesday, was the matriarch of an American political dynasty. She was also a writer, a family literacy advocate and a witty and quotable force in Republican politics. 

Below are some of her most famous quotes:

It’s “no big deal. Even I was 20 once.”

— Her response when students at Wellesley College objected to her giving a commencement address in 1990, quoted by The Palm Beach Post. Here's a story about the day she "wowed Wellesley’s feminist protesters with a graduation speech."


“I watch none. He [former President Bush] sits and listens and I read books, because I know perfectly well that, don’t take offense, that 90 percent of what I hear on television is supposition, when we’re talking about the news. And he’s not, not as understanding of my pettiness about that. But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it’s gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it’s, it’s not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer.”

— Her comment to Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer, who asked if the former first couple was watching much TV news as George W. Bush’s administration was increasing pressure on Iraq. 


"Raising five boys is a handful, trust me. Raising George Walker was not easy."

— Her description of motherhood on Fox News’ America Live, after a pundit said Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life. Here's a story from 1999 about how the death of her young daughter Robin, and how it created a bond between her and George W. Bush. 


“I can’t say it, but it rhymes with rich.”

— Her response when asked what she thought of Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferarro, quoted by The New York Times. She later apologized, saying she meant “witch.” Read a reporter's first-person account of the "rich" story here


“The personal things should be left out of platforms at conventions. ... You can argue yourself blue in the face, and you’re not going to change each other’s minds. It’s a waste of your time and my time.”

— Her quote to TIME magazine on the abortion debate at the 1992 GOP convention. Here's a story from 1992 about her stance on the issue. 


“What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

— Her comment on the radio program Marketplace after touring a Houston relocation site for Hurricane Katrina evacuees.


“I am still old and still in love with the man I married 72 years ago.”

—Her entry in the March 2018 edition of the Smith College alumnae magazine. Here's a look back at the story of her marriage


“At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.”

— Commencement address, Wellesley College, 1990 


What are your favorite Barbara Bush quotes and memories? 

Share them on Twitter with #BarbaraBushQuotes and we'll update our collection. 

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