John Sununu paid a heartwarming tribute to Barbara Bush on Monday following reports the former first lady is "failing health" and will not seek additional medical treatment.
"We had a great relationship and she was a great lady and has been a great friend," Sununu, a former New Hampshire governor who worked as White House chief of staff under President George H. W. Bush, told host John Bachman on Newsmax TV's "Newsmax Now."
"I had the good fortune to have a quiet dinner with her and the president a couple of weeks ago and she was very, very frail then, and so I'm not surprised that she's taken a turn for the worse. But the first family and the Sununu family and America are all praying for her recovery. We hope all goes well."
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Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, 92, decided not to seek additional medical treatment and instead focus on comfort care. Mrs. Bush, who is at home in Houston.
While the Bush family has not mentioned a specific illness involving Mrs. Bush's current condition, she is known to suffer from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She has also been treated for decades for Graves' disease, a thyroid condition.
Sununu said there are "a lot of great Barbara Bush stories" involving her reign as first lady from 1989 to 1993.
"When the president got himself in trouble for saying he didn’t like broccoli, the broccoli growers sent us a couple of truckloads of broccoli and . . . Barbara Bush said she was going to make sure that the broccoli got to the homeless," Sununu recalled.
"I commented under my breath, why do you think they left home to begin with, and she wouldn't let me forget about that for about three or four weeks."
Mrs. Bush is one of only two first ladies who was also the mother of a U.S. president, George W. Bush. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, the nation's second president, and mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president.
Mrs. Bush has six children with George H.W. Bush and the couple have been married longer than any presidential couple in American history.
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