TODAY   |  January 21, 2014

The unlikely friendship between Clinton, Bush Sr.

Former president Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, once political rivals for the White House, have now become close friends. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>>> the bond her family feels with their political rivals but personal friends the clintons. here's nbc's andrea mitchell .

>> former first lady barbara bush in an interview on c-span on monday says her husband and bill clinton have become great friends.

>> bill visits us every summer. we don't agree politically, but we don't talk politics.

>> i william jefferson clinton .

>> reporter: they're an unlikely pair. once political adversaries, the relationship was icy after the bitter 1992 campaign. but in 2004 , president george w. bush asked his father and clinton to join forces to help victims of the tsunami and later katrina.

>> well, we took seven trips together. and this man whom i'd always liked and respected, i literally came to love.

>> reporter: in the years since, the two have visited, shared lunches and often talked on the phone, a relationship that has now blossomed into even more.

>> i think that he thinks of george a little bit like the father he didn't have.

>> people joke i was getting so close to the bush family i had become the black sheep son.

>> i love bill clinton , maybe not his politics, but i love bill clinton .

>> andrea mitchell , nbc news, washington.

>> it's a nice story. 1992 , they battle it out for the presidency and think all these years later they're still close.

>> they could put that behind them. well done.