Former President George W. Bush publicly expressed he appreciates Ellen DeGeneres’ response to criticism she was friendly with him at a Dallas Cowboys game.
A spokesman for Bush gave a statement about the controversy to Fox News.
"President and Mrs. Bush really enjoyed being with Ellen and Portia (de Rossi) and appreciated Ellen’s comments about respecting one another,” spokesman Freddy Ford told the conservative outlet. “They respect her."
The comments came after Ellen responded to the controversy about her yucking it up with a president whose politics were fueled by homophobia on her talk show Tuesday.
“I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have,” DeGeneres said. "We're all different and I think that we've forgotten that that's okay that we're all different.”
DeGeneres revealed she had been invited to watch the game in the VIP suite as a guest of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Bush’s words about respect, with no suggestion of any personal change in beliefs, will likely do little to assuage criticism of the LGBTQ icon. Queer voices continue to slam DeGeneres’ message of the benefits from socializing with champions of intolerance.
“George W. Bush is not just your cranky cousin who thinks Hillary Clinton is a serial killer and Liz Warren is Lenin's granddaughter,” wrote The Advocate executive editor Neal Broverman.
“Bush was the most powerful person on earth, who based much of his reelection on motivating conservatives to vote by endorsing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage — a marriage DeGeneres is in right now.”