George H. W. Bush Apologizes For “Patting Women’s Rears” & Twitter Is Just Over It
After actress Heather Lind accused the 41st president of the United States of groping her, he swiftly released an apology to the actress. But a second statement from George H. W. Bush was released Wednesday evening, and reactions from Twitter indicated many people believed it was worse than the first.
Update: Bush Sr.'s second statement was provided to Deadspin in response to a new allegation from actress Jordana Grolnick that her encounter with Bush was "entirely similar" to Lind's alleged experience. Grolnick reportedly told Deadspin: "We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him. ... He reached his right hand around to my behind, and as we smiled for the photo he asked the group, ‘Do you want to know who my favorite magician is?’ As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!'"
Earlier: Lind accused Bush of touching her inappropriately four years ago in Houston during a photo shoot. The first apology came on Wednesday from the former president's spokesman Jim McGrath and said, "President Bush would never under any circumstances, intentionally cause anyone distress and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Miss Lind."
The second statement also came from McGrath, who explained the president's physical condition and how Bush has an apparent predilection for humor that some may not agree with. The statement read:
Shortly after the second statement surfaced on social media, people on Twitter reacted to the explanation offered by McGrath. From confusion to iterations of "yikes," it doesn't seem like the second statement from Bush helped his case.
1. Where's The Humor?
what is the joke— Laura J. Nelson 🦅 (@laura_nelson) October 25, 2017
Although Bush's statement tries to clarify his move as a humorous attempt to connect with women, some found it to be the opposite of funny. Laura Nelson, transportation reporter for The Los Angeles Times, simply asked, "What is the joke?"
2. "Who's To Say?"
George H.W. Bush's apology: "some would view this ass-grabbing as playful; others would see it as assault. ultimately, who's to say?"— Scream Macula Scream (@bobservo) October 26, 2017
One person reworded the apology to what they thought was a better fit.
3. Don't Do It Again
1) if one single person says "that was inappropriate," never do it again; 2) why— Laura (@tailor31415) October 25, 2017
Another Twitter user took notice of the statement's mentioning that some may have found the former president's humor to be "inappropriate." The user's suggestion was simple: "If one single person says 'that was inappropriate,' never do it again."
Um, Bush 41's office apologizes. Says "he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner." pic.twitter.com/58Px9c37c4— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 26, 2017
"Um" is one way to go about it.
5. This GIF
For some, words aren't enough to express their feelings. In that case, a Nick Kroll GIF works.
6. Another GIF
*logs on*— Chester Scaresville (@ChesterScoville) October 26, 2017
Huh, why’s George H. W. Bush trending?
A button titled "nope" encapsulated one Twitter user's reaction.
7. Not A Good Look
Not surprised that ole Bush thinks that things like sexual harassment make for a good joke. pic.twitter.com/naTOV266Cp— Brandon H. Allen (@improviseybg) October 25, 2017
Some were cynical about it.
I don't even know what to think of this.— Michelle Hayes (@mrh12834) October 25, 2017
And some were left speechless.
wow i didn't know sexual harassment/assault is a joke.— #HappyYutaDay ❤️ (@mochianika) October 25, 2017
Many Twitter users didn't agree with the sense of humor McGrath stated in the statement.
10. "What is Happening?"
So... former President H.W. Bush just admitted to touching women's butts? on accident? What is happening? https://t.co/1PNrjKuCvn— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) October 26, 2017
In the weirdest way possible GHW Bush confirmed that greets women by "patting their rear" (quote) because he's in a wheelchair— Pesach Lattin ⭐ (@pacelattin) October 26, 2017
"In the weirdest way possible, GHW Bush [sic] confirmed that greets [sic] women by 'patting their rear' (quote) because he's in a wheelchair," one user noted.
12. "Can I Go Home Now?"
I just wrote this headline: President George H.W. Bush apologizes for sometimes patting women on the rear— Paul Singer (@singernews) October 26, 2017
Can I go home now?
One user simply asked, "What the bloody hell is, @GeorgeHWBush and company? Which PR person proofread this nonsense?"
14. Still Not Funny
Not for many.
Some were more direct about their denouncing of Bush.
16. Eye-Roll Emoji
nice that we can see where both your hands are @GeorgeHWBush - how many people have you felt up today, though? All in good humor, right? 🐝🙄🐝— Brian Atlanta (@Brian11Atlanta) October 25, 2017
One user responded to an August photo of Bush looking at the partial eclipse with, "Nice that we can see where both your hands are @GeorgeHWBush - how many people have you felt up today, though? All in good humor, right?"
17. A Call For Condemnation
Bill Clinton needs to make a statement condemning George HW Bush's lewd behavior.— jon gabriel (@exjon) October 26, 2017
One Twitter user suggested that Bill Clinton publicly condemn Bush.
The Bush Sr public statement about his handicap being the reason Bush's arm touches women's bum is the most awkward statement ever.— Samantha Tara (@tweetPollTroll) October 26, 2017
People just didn't know what to do with the information.
19. This GIF
That George H.W. Bush statement... pic.twitter.com/fE6IXlffY3— Kevin D. Grüssing (@KevDGrussing) October 25, 2017
20. Where Is The Family's Criticism?
Bush's statement suggests he's done this to other women. Q is why did nobody in family - looking at you, Jeb! & George - tell him to stop?— Mack Mariani (@MackMariani) October 26, 2017
Some sought condemnation against Bush from the family itself.
21. Well, Maybe Now He Knows
Looks like McGrath's second statement didn't really help Bush's public image at all. Bustle has reached out to McGrath for a response from Bush and will update when and if he responds.