George H. W. Bush put “service over self,” says longtime friend AG Bill Schuette | Michigan Radio
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George H. W. Bush put “service over self,” says longtime friend AG Bill Schuette

Dec 5, 2018

Bill Schuette (pictured far right) and his wife Cynthia (far left) had a close friendship with the Bush family. Here they are with former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush.
Credit Courtesy of the office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette

He may have been born in Massachusetts, and raised his family in West Texas, but former President George H. W. Bush was no stranger to Michigan. He trained on Grosse Ile as a young Navy pilot. In 1980, Bush was picked as Ronald Reagan’s running mate at the July 1980 GOP convention in Detroit, and traveled all around the state during his two presidential campaigns.

One of the more personal ties between Bush and the state was his longtime friendship with the state’s current Attorney General Bill Schuette. Schuette joined Stateside to talk about his memories of President Bush before leaving for the late president's funeral in Washington.

Schuette first met Bush when he was invited to a Sunday afternoon brunch of “burgers and bloodies” at the Bush's Washington home. “And we stuck to each other like peanut butter and jelly ever since,” Schuette said.

Schuette would go on to manage George H.W. Bush’s Florida primary campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 1979, and maintained a close friendship with Bush and his family. Schuette says that today's "caustic, coarse discussion" in American politics stands in contrast to Bush's approach. 

“I think the message for all Americans is this George Bush way of service over self. The guy didn’t have a mean bone in his body, didn’t hold grudges, didn’t want to get even. Yes, he understood politics, but he didn’t sit around sharpening his knife and say okay, well I’m going to get you because of what you did,” he said.

Listen above to hear some of Schuette’s favorite personal memories of Bush, including time Schuette spent working on Bush’s 1979 primary campaign against Ronald Reagan.   

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