George H.W. Bush's body arrives at Joint Base Andrews

The nation celebrates the former president's legacy.
38:33 | 12/03/18

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Transcript for George H.W. Bush's body arrives at Joint Base Andrews
Hi there and welcome to the briefing room on ABC news political director Rick Klein joined here by Terry Moran on this day of remembrance and reflection for the 41 president of the United States. George Herbert Walker Bush pictures you're seeing are of the military military transport plane. Bringing the remains of George H. W. Bush to Washington DC for the final time what will follow Terry. A choreographed. The series of events several days. Where the president's body will lie in state members the public will be able to pay respects will have a major ceremony at the Nath a national cathedral and finally the burial in Houston there's something. Ceremonial about all of these days the process playing out in in familiar ways but also ways you learn something new about the 41 president. And that's exactly and it's a ceremony a ceremony. Formal and that formality and ceremony designed. To touch the chords in our civic carts. Maybe that we are that we are playing too much these days first the air than that George H. W. Bush to bush was from and then what we're seeing unfold here. This ceremony of remembrance and of honor. Nations need honor they need moments of honor. To bring us together to remind us why we are all supposedly Americans first and and we saw a little bit of that with the funeral John McCain. But here's the president right the one officer speaks for all the people of the United States and I think maybe a little bit a little rub off for a couple of days in Washington. Mary Bruce standing by at the capitol where the it be that president's body will be lying in state. For the next couple of days so you see the limousine there at Andrews Air Force Base we'll transport that body. To the capital Mary what are we expecting to see in the coming hours and days and and cool or we expecting to see as part of the ceremonies. It is really quite a remarkable outpouring that we're about to see here on the capital I can tell you from my vantage point we've been seeing members of the armed services getting ready preparing for the ceremony to come in just a short amount of time here. You will see President Bush making his final return to the capital. Arriving here being brought up carried up the casket on the stairs here actually just behind me. He will be escorted by by special honor guard an honorary Pall bearers different from those who we've seen earlier in the day these will be. In the eighty captains and admirals who have been. Pick commanders on the USS George H. W. Bush and then of course the top of those stairs we'll be members. President Bush's cabinet former colleagues. Standing up there that officers will be the former vice president Dan Quayle we'll also be seeing other notable familiar faces those in the former president's inner circle like his. Dear dear friend James Baker's former secretary of state you'll also see another former Vice President Dick Cheney will be here as well also of course. A member of Bush's cabinet and then of course you'll be seeing members of congress on both sides of the aisle will be coming together to pay tribute here. To the former president he will now be the thirteenth former president. To lie in state today and during the ceremony here this afternoon you'll hear directly. From there the leaders of the house and the senate Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan also. From the vice president Mike Pence he's the only member of the current administration to be speaking out here today the president of course not expected to. Be here in person for this ceremony though he will be at the state funeral the national cathedral on Wednesday and then of course this is an opportunity for the public. To come and paying their respects as well. Bush will be lying in state until Wednesday morning. All right Mary stand by for us as we talk about how politics is pause but not entirely gone from this moment I do want to take a moment to to get some reflections from Cokie Roberts are. Colleague here at ABC news a long time. Observer persons covered Washington for many many years including through the George H. W. Bush years and Cokie what strikes you. About this moment about how the country is remembering the four the 41 president I'm struck by how. Individual. These from the remembrances are. Mean he you get these these messages from heads of state met. Various agencies and all of that and usage as you know our condolences we are. Mourning the loss of a great statesman and of course they say that but they also all say something in particular. Because George Bush. Really did an enormous amount of power of so many people so for instance he NIH initial assistance health. Sent its condolences saying. Thank you for your work on the Human Genome Project. The CIA which he headed in a terrible time. Adam. Host a former CIA directors signed a letter. Saying thank you for rehabilitating this agency. And it goes on the non life that was was one after another saying something that he had done. That was so important. And then all of the private personal memories people. Everybody and coming out and saying here's what he did for me he is really did for my. Family. And day is just remarkable. Leave breath and extent of that. So he was always. Not only a statesman and some on very very dedicated to public service. But he was always also a very kind and loving individual a family man. Cokie one thing I was struck by is an observation that that the late President Bush. Shared in his closing months and years about I his concern about kind of being trapped by history. I coming right after a transformational figure two term president Ronald Reagan being followed. By the two term presidencies of Bill Clinton and then of course his own son George W. Bush and and he is sort presidency. On Barack Obama. Is there something in the way they were thinking about. That it that the late President Bush now that you think is in for reassessment around that notion that maybe those four years. We're more consequential than none and historians might have thought until now. Yes I think absolutely so but that's not unusual for something like that to happen and it is certainly the case here. And it's. Is so typical of him in a way to both these somewhat concerned about his place in history but also to be convinced. That it would not be great because he was so much. Not about himself when he couldn't even use the word die and who thought he was mother told him not to brag and boy did he take active part. But the truth is it was a remarkable time period. The end of the Cold War you've heard a great deal about that analyst few days about how he handled the end of the Cold War. Not Nancy and on the fall of the Berlin Wall so that it was possible for Germany to reunite inside of NATO are remarkable feat. And then the entire landscape of the country literally. Re drawn as a result of the Americans with disabilities act wearing now the accessibility. Is there. He just didn't exist before the passage of that landmark Civil Rights Act and that's something he worked on quite closely. Which is Bob Dole the Republican leader of the senate of the time Tom Harkin a leading Democrat in the senate that the time. They all came together to pass that really. Land changing piece of legislation. Actually live in if you're talking about. A historical impact and how lives are changed his Cokie points out Americans with disabilities act. And the end of the Cold War. And we remember those incredible celebratory pictures of the fall of the Berlin Wall as a triumph of human liberation could have been the start of the next general European war and I. The fact that it wasn't. Is a tribute to what we are celebrating what will Cokie touchdown first that often editor at these moments we look at the career of of a person. And really the career here was so reflective of the character. That that kindness and decency came out in the Americans with disability act. In the refusal to to boast or brag on on the fall of an apartment at the fall of an empire without an. It would winning the decisive battle in the fall of an empire without a single drop of blood being shed. That historians will look at a lot. And in the war that he did fight. To oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. He did it and again a remarkable fashion. Patching together. This coalition both of quite. I'm. Likely nations means Syria was part of that coalition. And and then he was very clear and I have an interview with him knocked out on afterwards recent luck. That was the UN resolution was to get him out of Kuwait and to liberate Kuwait. It was not to go on to Baghdad as many criticized him for not doing. He said if I'd done that I would have lied to congress would have lied to the United Nations. I didn't want to be a liar. Tokyo I'm curious your thoughts on the on the the many political lives of George H. W. Bush. He's remembered of course as Ronald Reagan's vice president but he came on to this onto the stage as a rival to Regan he had an enormously successful career in business and in Republican politics is ambassador to China. Even before coming on the scene in national politics he he then serve those eight years as as a loyal number two. And then took over on his own and then the post presidential years it seems to me like there were many different facets of of a man that. May not seem that complicated but actually had a lot of their brings that this is a national life. Very much so I was theme that as he returns to the capitol now. How when he got there he is really you know he risen he missed from a safe Republican district there is nothing extraordinary about that. And a yummy served two terms so the idea that was the launching pad for this Koreans and took him to the presidency. Is surprising. And then as you say he went on to all these other careers and when you did not mention loses head of the Republican National Committee. Something he really didn't wanna do I'm did it entirely. Foyer of the good of the party and that and then found himself in the position. Of saying Jay his president the president of his party. You have to resign. And that again he said to me in later years he said it was session no win situation. I had half the party telling me to tell Nixon to go and the other half of the party time me that I should be defending Nixon was strongly. And so it was impossible but he managed to weave his way through that and come out as someone who could resume. Viable candidate for the presidency of the United States. And and that was an example was made of how in so many of those positions you just mentioned. He acquitted himself so well he restored morale to the CIA. After the investigations. Of its sordid deeds during the Cold War he'd been reestablished. In some ways the Republican Party through that time. Served well as vice president yet he may not have the charisma or the vision thing as he said. But he did have good judgment and good judgment may be an underrated quality and Paul. Lesser he eat he always said governing is different from campaigning. And from you know just being out there speaking. To govern is a completely different thing and again I do think that the wave is raise aids in the sense of of noble also leisure if you will that he he was a bit of a class and a vote time and have a family. The believed that you did provide service and debt and that you had to learn how to do that properly. Once again you're looking at that he the V. Ceremony it has been amassing going on out enters air force base. As military honor guard prepares to greet the casket of George H. W. Bush annually headed his remains are we headed to the capital for several days of public viewing. Mary Bruce if if you're still with with us I'm I'm curious. You are take in in the current generation of politicians and there. Remembrances George George H. W. Bush was. Was president now quarter century ago most of the men and women are you cover up there weren't there at the time many of them grew up with him as president there's even a couple and congress. Who have no memory of George HW Bush's presidency as hard as that may be. To believe about this freshman class but what what is your sense of of what the legacy of George Bush is among the the people that now popularly Washington in the capital. In brackets and really remarkable as you watch the statements and comments coming out from both sides of the aisle. How in agreement to both parties are about the legacy. Former President Bush you know some of the same words being used on both sides of the out describing him as a leader who was dignified who was gracious who was. Resolute and really restraint you have both parties. Up pointing to him is really an icon of bipartisanship. Which of course is something that we simply don't see. See up here very often in this rather contentious partisan era and there is a sense that you really get David Kenyon this this talent in the capital are not just. And the country are aren't as morning the loss of this great statesman but are mourning the end of that. Political error that they're now is a void. In the political round of that kind of a leader who can cross the aisle and bring both parties together. Mary Mary he. In terms of what these next couple of days mean obviously this is a fevered political time we'll talk about some of the things that are still popping button. This seems like it'll be a bit of a pause from business as usual we saw this as Terry mentioned earlier with the funeral around John McCain. The president. Any president's funeral of seems to be on another level is there. Any sense that that you have about what this is going to mean in in the broader political climate. There's always a question about whether when Washington takes a step back takes a deep breath and thinks about for instance how partisan this country has become whether that will actually change anything. We don't usually see that what we do see is a pause that collective sort of taking a stock and then it after a couple days things continue on it. As they happen. It's interesting though right now we are in the mid speaking of partisan fights. And they're hurling towards a possible government shut down. On Friday out both parties know that to celebrate the life of this bipartisan president. And by going through a bitter partisan fight well that's bad optics for both parties it's bad for the country I think. Both parties realize that and so now we are hearing. Here that the plan is you've got kicked that can down the road another two weeks setting up a possible shutdown fight on December 21. About whether the looming Christmas holiday will spur more action spurs a possible compromise up here whether reflection on the passing of former President Bush will. I encourage the two parties to come together while all of that remains to be seen but I will say nothing encourages members of congress to get their act together quicker. Like the to talk on a holiday clock for. But most of the business it Washington put on hold for this week as you mentioned that the possibility of the shut down seems like it's put off there's also some news today. Mary about the F former FBI director James call me coming to Capitol Hill on Friday seems like that'll be. Quite a consequential they call me will be there behind closed doors are also gonna hear from the Mueller team. About what it is they believe Paul Mann a port lied about incorporate what what do Republicans hoping to achieve with this. We're bringing call me back to the hill on Friday. Well that this doesn't matter I just to get him to appear out here Rick there was a subpoena that was issued gag James Cummings thought that subpoena he was concerned that he said that his testimony that occurred behind closed doors where it would be twisted wood they were beaten leaks to the press that he his story wouldn't get out involving out of reach. An agreement. That will allow only to come out and speak immediately after he testifies and that a transcript. Their conversation will be made public as well so old while Washington official business here is taking a bit about paused. Of course the Russian investigation at Muller's work and the work of these committees of continues all right Mary are. Thanks to UN you're watching all the events as the day unfolds will be covering all of it here ABC news dot com and you're seeing now members of the bush family. A walking along with the the military graders to to greet the casket. Of the 41 president's the United States that casket will be placed into a limousine that's waiting there on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base be transported. To the capital. Four the next several days of of public viewing. Should be should be quite some moments to watch Terry these these things do stick out and our collective memories of president's funeral. The remembrances that and that is that that come out it seems like one of the few times where. Ever was or slows down and just focuses on something that happened in the past. It's hard especially these days with the hyper media news site called end up president who loves to star in every single second of it did take a pause. And look back. At the way things worry it can't be again because history marches on but at the way. This man led the country and what we might be able to learn from that and beyond that as I said. Just by doing this together perhaps just touching those chords of I shared citizenship. And everybody's in their corners not just in politics but in business as well for example. The statistics show that CEOs of the generation of George. Herbert walker bush. When they pay. Themselves. They didn't pay themselves 300 times the wages of the average worker as they do by statistical. Calculation today that in about thirty or forty men and Google. In the United States but they would have been ashamed to pay themselves that much money. Something has changed in America about that sense of shared citizenship not just in politics but elsewhere what George W George H. W. Bush stood. And there is George W. Bush and Laura Bush just coming off the plane now on greeting the military the bottom of the stairwell. He did George W. Bush the president's son will have a a major role in the ensuing days he will be. Speaking on on Wednesday at the at the that the formal funeral services. Should be quite an interesting time for George W. Bush his legacy of course much debated in Washington and beyond. He is now the only living Republican president. Pin in it kind of an interesting moment for him in remembering his father as well as the legacy. That's right and this is a moment where he. Really has to say goodbye today it is his father to his predecessor to the man who. Never really intervened in his presidency there was a lot of talk during that this time around the Iraq War that Georgia walker bush was caught the sun. And saying don't do it but both men always said that he just karma did see how he was due when asked about the kids. Be a dad had a feeling that that was maybe what he most needed and that no one could really understand the choices those. Tremendous decisions that a president has to make and so many fields. Without actually being in that seat and as someone who had been there. He he didn't have much advice. It Cokie Roberts is still with us I'd love your take pokey on the relationship that. That that the late President Bush forged with other presidents obviously very close to the man who served as vice president. He formed something of a friendship with the man who defeated him for reelection and Bill Clinton we know the relationship with his son. Even Brock Obama speaking very very fondly of the relationship he was able to Foster. With George H. W. Bush the president's club scene Cokie that's. The George H. W. Bush would be a charter member of that we understand what that what that meant and how important that institution was someone who came up. Oh rubbing elbows with prominent politicians understanding the majesty and the importance of that all. Slate yes and no. The chances that it took him awhile now lives in Houston was having this conversation as we're looking at his family and now they're all together they. They came from different places not everybody was in Houston. So here are now George. Herbert Walker's. Casket comes off his children. All of them there. Seeing. This moment a very tough mom even though he's 94 and even though they knew it was coming. There is children all of them in his grandchildren many of them. But hadn't. And there was a joke that President Clinton was like his fifth son. But that did not that does not happen immediately in fact he said to me. Before he struck up that friendship with President Clinton he said I don't think Clinton and I can never become friends the way Carter. Forward became for some and it really took. Them being put together by George W. Bush. To go to deal whizzes tsunami. In Indonesia and then subsequent. Disasters. That they got to know each other and like each other and as George to have the Asian neighbors and the guys just so charming you can't resist isn't about Bill Clinton but it wasn't immediate. Then you add begin eleven that's been publisher Z I just can't stay mad at that guy pretending aloha hello I'm. Let me let in politics well he tells us that. An astute judge of character he was he's this guy has an opinion on everything. Her for X. Right but also I think we have to be careful about saying how bipartisan George Bush was after all he was he was the head of his party. And when he was president he had a very strong democratic congress and he vetoed bill after bill after bill. It was not as if fuse and working with them and sign you not dolls what their agenda was he was vetoing away and he was not overridden. Until very late in his presidency. And that's so over a cable television bill. So it was it was not all. Lighten roses. Never seen a cannon salute there at Andrews Air Force Base as the casket of George H. W. Bush has been taken off the military transport plane in getting ready for its its final journey to the United States capitol and just a few minutes. It I am. I'm watching these images and has seen a military presence there. Mindful of the fact that did Tom George George H. W. Bush was a war hero. Ended in as celebrated decorated. Dangers often. Hero of World War II. Who then went on to a political career. That notion itself seems foreign these days thinking about more recent presidents no president since then. Has come in with military service having served in combat. It seems like that's something special Terry is something that navy is lost with the passing of George H. W. Bush. Plus of these new generation. Politicians including this class of freshman members of congress who you know better than I. You will see more of that and maybe that'll be a good thing as you point at fifty combat missions the youngest navy fighter pilot. And shot down last when I once saw him interviewed and and he was asked of all those preeminent positions that you had. Vice president and member of congress head of the CIA envoy to China all those things what best prepared you to be president and went out hesitate. He said getting shot and stabbed September 1945. And not just because he was tested this you are but because there were two guys that when you didn't make. And he's I'm no hero he. He represented a kind of masculine ideal manly in this. That we almost don't have any more that strong silent type brave for sure even lethal but not a cracker or bully about the whole thing. One can imagine. In a different time and perhaps in the BC some of these and grandchild for example that you may or may not go far in politics. But maybe they carry themselves a little differently having served together with so many different people and having been tested in that we're certain he will. And my country tis and be playing there it's remembrance. Of service and sacrifice as part of it and of course Cokie. Keith it was a wartime president for. Relatively brief period of time as well. I felt to me that he was very mindful of what it meant to put. American men and women in harm's way that that was something that he carried with him. Through his his later decades that he saw an opportunity saw the necessity in his view in the gulf war. Didn't want to prolong it and and and was also very mindful of what that meant. Absolutely. And talked about it and wrote about. About how and he understood the horrors of war. And what the toll it took. Not only of course and lives with. In the whole. Landscape of Wareham the war was fought. And he was very very weird. And you know it is it is something to say that this is our last president who served in combat. From most of our history our presidents have had more service than we have seen in recent years. But did this is a moment so you see that the in place of the military. When you see this honor guard and people from all of the season services there. Is a military funeral it is the military the plans a president's funeral. And in show AG place the week put that institution in our society. Indeed and the commander in chief. And end as the limo prepares Louise Andrews Air Force Base that the family standing there as you mentioned Terri reunited and united they are at the FB air force base quite a political dynasty on display. And President Bush fully President Bush like to say that one of the things he's proudest of most is that a Stanley came to visit himself. And physically sick and any very proud of his sons of course. Of course and he often said that while he was. You know pilloried as every president is an oppression by the opposition it was fine for him but he could not bear it. To see his sons to you hear so criticized by by the press and that that was much much harder than being in the fire itself and you can understand that and they adored him obviously you know right. I once interviewed both. Father drew a George Herbert Walker Bush and George W. Bush was on Father's Day in 2000 during the campaign. And it was it was is because they. I asked why s.'s katic an instrument so we're you the disciplinarian in the house and they've both I laughed dubbed Rory is my point though remark is that either. The boss over there but they never did lose that closeness that that family firstly remains in that for him when he. The very very strong strong impulse and president trump noted today in his statement. Yeah he indeed he did in in remembering remembering that piece of the family. It is also interesting to me because I feel like the B it's such different styles 41 and 43 of course history will link them together. They the only the second father son combination to to reach the White House. Up but they were such different individuals different in terms of governing salsa prison terms of personality in a much more outgoing gregarious. George W. Bush than it than his father. The closeness that did of course transcends of all father and son. They were just much different men. Very different than their parents giving very different politicians and presidents. George Herbert Walker Bush said he lacked the vision thing that that vision that. George W. Bush perhaps in reaction had a very strong ideology or you look at his second inaugural address and and it is it is one of the most ideological. Address on foreign policy certainly that that we've ever heard from there and he really did. Have a clear vision he was very disciplined in in stating it to the American people and putting it to the American people. George W. Bush for him as Muskogee pointed out there was difference between campaigning. And governing is said what you had to you as a campaign right read my lips no new taxes you know Willie Horton he was willing. To say a lot of things because for him I think. Getting into. Position of leadership meant you kind of joined the club whom have. And those relationships more than in some ways your relationship with the voters were the ones that made the system work where's I think George W. Bush. He he was a fantastic campaigner underrated candidate I think by Democrats couple times and and perhaps learn from his dad's shortcoming. As we see the Hearst preparing to leave Andrews Air Force Base and headed to the capitol for these next couple days of a ceremony. Terry want to hit a couple of other headlines out there the president just back from the G-20 he is touting what he says is a major breakthrough. With China apparently it's a a ninety day pause on any additional tariffs but not a lot of details yet about what we're actually talking about here. No and up and in questioning. What is actually in this deal between president trump and president GM China. Senior administration fears are having trouble articulating what this is a timeout in what is the world's biggest trade war that we seen in years. And one where I think one of the reasons present trump feels good is for all that American sectors are getting hurt. China's economy in a Broadway is getting hammered whose stock market's getting hammered. Frankly there's more running room for America in this trade war then for China we are less dependent. We are less export and driven economy. And this may be trying to coming to the table there's a raft of issues ninety's is probably too short time to fix them. I think president trump wants to come back for more he's enjoying this and he kind of thinks he has the momentum. Yeah and he tweeted just that the couple hours ago that farmers will be a very big and fast beneficiary of our deal with China he says that they intend to start purchasing or cultural product immediately. And he goes on to say farmers I love you all caps on that but the farmers among those were waiting for details. I'm all of these testing did indeed all right one other headline we wanna hit and I am want to bring in our colleague John Weaver holder to discuss this a bit but up. A pretty startling headline out of North Carolina out where. Despite the fact that we're a month since the election there is a single house raise that is not being certified by the board of elections in North Carolina aid and involves a Republican candidate mark Paris won by some. 900 votes but there are significant evidence beginning to emerge of potential fraud and other. Of wrong doing may be legal wrongdoing. Johnny give us the latest on this and in what do we know about the process from here. We're only about a month away from the new congress is beginning to take to get seated in getting sworn in. Has a chance that this is going to be settled by then. That's rhetoric that result of this race really is in limbo and I'm I'm want to apologize since I know it's December but yes we're still talking about a collection that happened now almost over a month ago. But what what this whole controversy centers around it is is absentee by mail votes in a rural North Carolina county. That you you know there's really some potential wrongdoing here this race between Republican mark Harris and Democrat Democrat he was one of the most closely watched. Of the entire cycle and it was a very close race mark fiercely wanna by 905 votes. But the allegations that were brought forth. Their allegation that there's a campaign worker for Harris who's going door to door and there's one woman in this rural county. You said that a campaign worker came to her door. Dave for an absentee ballot she filled it out about halfway. Then the campaign worker said here you know and all take that back I'll fill the rats out of it for you and then I'll return in which needless to say that that's more than a legal. But there is there's definitely in some uncertainty here the North Carolina board of elections has refused to certify the result in this election not you like you said that could delay. Harris being seeded in January the board of elections is going to hold a public hearing on this matter either on or before December 21. You know and this is all in all happening under the Specter of you know a lot of conversation about voter fraud about election fraud. A lot of that coming from president trump and within their vote Britain within the Republican Party but this has the potential to be a pretty big embarrassment for the Republican Party if it does turn out. That this campaign was engaged and fraudulent activity. It's hard to hard to imagine Terry that the president wouldn't be all over this if the Democrats. Was on top limits but it does it we've had this conversation. Many times this election year about about voter fraud about ballot access and it does appear to be even more relevant than ever he seat and in a race like this you have the secretary of State's. Runoff in Georgia coming tomorrow of course that was a big issue is well this question to central to who we are as Americans. Letting everybody vote counting every vote that is. The impulse of American history look we didn't start out there right about this year after year decade have to decorated century after century. Until the Republican party's very reluctant. As as as Brian Kemp won them that governorship would give Georgia. Accidentally saves and they all vote. We're in trouble. Well then the and ended may be that in addition to balance security measures which are designed to preserve the integrity of the vote. And often also designed it seems to discourage or make more difficult voting. In some areas that might be democratic usually minority areas. Been committed fraud here it is it there may be enough to have swung a house seat and that would be the biggest instance of voter fraud. Maybe in American history at the federal. And it's and no doubt about that and as we see the motorcade repairing to leave and that the hearse carrying the remains of George H. W. Bush heading to Washington wanna get some final thoughts. From Cokie Roberts took. To think about this political moment that were in a month after this consequential election midway through a very consequential tumultuous presidency a president. That isn't particularly close to any of the men who held out office before what are the lessons of George H. W. Bush Cokie do you feel are applicable to this moment. Well I think that there is the fact and his Dennis. Incredible decency. Makes us something for everybody just sit back and think about. And say why isn't this that worked and and then think maybe that what they're doing doesn't. And I think that that that might be a very fine object lesson. I must say to you. Hardly the first time of panic in the house seats done in by fraud. Didn't pick this up. I won't for a bit then bet a lot of them have learned after a few met Deb. But dad George H. W. Bush was not part of any of that it was very much pride and good government. Idea of how to govern. Speaking of landslide Lyndon back in back indoors in the George Bush's state state of Texas it is going to be a remarkable. Several days to see these to see these remembrances to see these figures for the not so distant past come forward Ivan struck by. By how many how many people come forward from across political parties to remember George H. W. Bush that's fondly as they as they have. He was certainly a fierce partisan in his day but there's something bodies sample of him as a president. That I think was important for a lot of people miss someone not he he he was he was in office. For me when I really became fully in in involved in understanding what politics was. And he seemed to idealize the presidency in that that the notion of a president. Seem to just it just it just came off them. Because different character we're was substance as we've talked about he was one of those people and their rare and it's a blessing when you meet them losing to make the world smaller. Because they can be friends. And they want to be friends and they have a knack for making friends and so many different directions. Without regard. To the lines of class or party whatever it don't fight scrap like you know dogs were in in in a good political fight. But just didn't join people in a sincere way and that's their politics that's their character and to some degree that's their policy and. And talking about. About remembrances across party lines who won a close today's show with a with a pretty special. Piece of video the room. We talked about the B bond between presidents and it was a great tradition. Started heavily by President Reagan of a handwritten note being handed down. To a successor. And of course for Reagan to leave once a bush they were friends they were chums you can understand that but George H. W. Bush chose to keep that tradition alive in writing. A note to Bill Clinton the man who defeated him in a very hard fought campaign back in 1992. Historian mark up to grove recently sat down with Bill Clinton and asked him about that letter. Ronald Reagan established a tradition among outgoing presidents stood to leave handwritten note for their successors when you arrive back. To the White House. The Oval Office after becoming president you found in the iconic resolute desk in the in the Oval Office a handwritten note from George Bush. The spurs are what are would you mind reading part of that note. Hello hello to you instead. I wish you great happiness here there will be tough times made even more difficult. But criticism you may not think it is clear I'm Goldberg good one to give advice. The just don't let the critics discourage you from pushing off course. He will be our president when you read this note I wish you well I was so for your family well. Your success is our country success. I'm rooting hard freeze. Rooting hard for you the man who defeated him the man who. Stood stood Astride the so much history and and and so much in the balance of that moment I Philip is a nice sentiment there. Class act. That must have been very difficult to do your Carrick and they say is is. To do the right thing when no announces watching and I suppose he might but that'll come home would become. Public but. It demonstrate to us. All right Terry Moran our thanks also to Cokie Roberts for being here and on a very special day of remembrance around George H. W. Bush the 41 president. Of the United States. We will be covering all of the activities in the ensuing days right here any BC W special edition of world news tonight Frye and at 8 o'clock tonight. He watched that as well you download the ABC news happened for all of us here at ABC news thank you for watching on the special that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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