Count Jenna Bush Hager among those who were thrilled to see George W. Bush and Ellen DeGeneres sitting side-by-side.
Many, many people online were disappointed to see the “Ellen” host conversing with the former U.S. president at a Dallas Cowboys game in October. A number of celebrities and fans spoke out but Bush Hager will not be one of them.
“I personally thought it was great,” Hager Bush told People. “My dad likes people that think differently than him, that believe differently, and people are surprised by this… But my parents raised both [twin sister] Barbara and I had to have our own opinions.”
“Barbara and I were sitting around the kitchen table, and obviously we talked about a lot of mundane things, but if we had opinions we were allowed to share them,” the “Today” co-host continued.
Interacting with others who don’t share the same opinions is an important principle to Bush Hager: “I personally, and I think so many of us, miss a time where people who have different opinions get along.”
“I yearn for that. I want my kids to realize that we live in a world when people think tons of different things and we treat everybody with respect and kindness,” she added. “And so just like Ellen, my dad does that.”
“If you ask anybody that’s worked for him or knows him, plenty of the people that worked for him have different opinions or different lifestyles,” she concluded. “Thought different things and felt comfortable sharing that with him because he’s open.”