An outpouring of support came flooding in for Barbara Bush Sunday after a statement from the office of former President George H. W. Bush announced the former first lady was in failing health.
“Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting with her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care,” the statement read.
David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images, FILEFormer First Lady Barbara Bush is interviewed for ‘The Presidents’ Gatekeepers’ project about the White House Chiefs of Staff at the Bush Library, Oct. 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas.
Messages of encouragement for Mrs. Bush were posted on social media from prominent figures across the political spectrum.
“First Lady Barbara Bush has touched lives around the world with her faith, grace, and humor,” tweeted Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a Democrat from Massachusetts. “Sending my thoughts to the entire Bush family.”
Rep. John Garamendi, a Democrat from California, tweeted, “My heart and my prayers are with Mrs. Bush and her family.”
Prominent Democrats Chelsea Clinton and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also gave words of encouragement.
SLIDESHOW: Barbara Bush through the years
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a brief statement on behalf of the White House: “The President’s and First Lady’s prayers are with all of the Bush Family during this time.”
Like many who paid tribute to Mrs. Bush on Sunday, Republican Senator Marco Rubio praised the former first lady’s character.
“She is a special woman, whose great faith and love for her country inspires us all,” Rubio tweeted.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott also cited Mrs. Bush as an inspiring woman.
“Barbara Bush has a character that is as big, inspiring and iconic as Texas,” Abbott said in a statement.
Scott Olson/Getty Images, FILEFormer President George Bush and his wife Barbara walk toward Church of Our Saviour in New York City, Sept. 2, 2004.
Kay Bailey Hutchison, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, called Mrs. Bush one of the nation’s “most loved women,” and wished her well.
“Her health has been deteriorating and I join thousands in hoping she is comfortable and knows how loved she is throughout the world!” Hutchison tweeted.
Journalist Howard Fineman wrote on Twitter that though his interactions with Mrs. Bush and her family over the last 30 years have not always been chummy, “no Bush ever attacked personally.”
“She is as proud, tough, protective of her family and patient as you would expect a wife and mother of presidents to be,” Fineman tweeted. “She helped both in sensible, family-centric ways; in that sense is as much a patriotic, civic-minded leader as they are.
Barbara Bush served as second lady during the Ronald Reagan administration from 1981 to 1989, and then as first lady from 1989 to 1993 after her husband was elected president. She is the mother of the 43rd president, George W. Bush, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.