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Laura Bush: George and I are watching race 'with much interest' from sidelines

Former first lady Laura Bush touched on the presidential race while talking to TODAY about a new book about women in Afghanistan.
/ Source: TODAY

Laura Bush may have dipped briefly onto the campaign trail to support her brother-in-law, Jeb, but don’t expect any additional endorsements from the former first lady — or her husband — anytime soon.

“We’ve gone back to the sidelines,” she told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie on Monday.

Bush expressed disappointment that Jeb Bush failed to do better among this year's presidential primaries and caucuses. "I think he would have been a great president," she told Guthrie.

But with that said, she insisted, "George and I are watching with much interest from the sidelines. As you know, George is really determined not to make remarks about politics, so we’re back to that side."

The former first lady stopped by TODAY to discuss a new book, “We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope,” for which she wrote the introduction. The book celebrates the resolve of Afghan women, as told in their own voices.

“It’s a great history of Afghanistan,” Bush said, expressing hope for the embattled nation, which recently elected a new president.

Bush recently wrote a Washington Post opinion piece expressing support for President Obama’s decision to keep American military troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016.

“They need that kind of security to be stable and try to build the kind of institutions that Afghanistan needs to support a democracy,” she said on TODAY.

“I’m hoping whoever becomes president next will continue to pay attention to women’s issues, especially, in Afghanistan and just security of Afghanistan and of other countries that affect our own security in our country.”

Laura Bush

Both Bush and her husband attended the funeral last Friday for her White House predecessor, Nancy Reagan.

“The funeral was beautiful," she said. "I understand she planned it all and of course, like everything she did, it was perfect."

Bush said Reagan’s death has made her reflect closely about her own family — especially her father- and mother-in-law, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife.

“For us, with President Bush and Barbara close to the same age of Nancy Reagan, we think about them also,” she said.

Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.