Bush 41 looks back at his presidency, talks Grover Norquist in Parade interview

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By Molly Mitchell

Former President George H. W. Bush is becoming quite the popular man.

Bush is the subject of a new HBO documentary in which, from his Kennebunkport home, he revisits memories of his childhood and presidency. And Bush 41 has now made the cover of Parade Magazine, along with his wife Barbara.

Parade’s Editor-in-Chief Maggie Murphy dropped by the show this morning to preview Sunday’s cover story, which you can get an excerpt from currently.

The former president and Barbara Bush sat down with presidential historian Mark Updegrove. Murphy said that the most surprising aspect of the interview was how they interacted as a couple. Murphy notes, “There is a lot of kidding and joking and I think the president is as humble as everyone says.”

Readers may also be curious to learn President Bush seems to have little regard for the Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist. “The circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist. It’s—who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?,” Bush asks.

In the Parade interview, looking back on his presidency, Bush felt that his proudest accomplishment was that, “… we had an honorable administration. We were relatively scandal-free and blessed by good people. Something I guess I’d throw in there is the liberation of Kuwait.” Barbara Bush added, “And 40 million people now have jobs they can get to because of the Americans with Disabilities Act. You can’t not count that.”

There are few father-son relationships that have been scrutinized as much as that of George H. W. Bush and his son George W. Bush. Critics often portrayed their relationship as competitive and as a father always counseling his son. But both Bush’s deny that George Sr. constantly advised his son and Barbara added, “Nor was there any competition. People always said, ‘I read that George was just doing this because he wanted to beat his father’… and they were stupid. It wasn’t true. There was no competition at all.”

When asked about the president’s medical condition of vascular Parkinsonism, Bush explains, “It just affects the legs. It’s not painful. You tell your legs to move and they don’t move. It’s strange, but if you have to have some bad-sounding disease, this is a good one to get…you just face the reality and make the best of it.”

Make sure to check out Mark Updegrove’s complete interview with the Bushes.

Bush 41 looks back at his presidency, talks Grover Norquist in Parade interview

Updated