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:
At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women's rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.
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?
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?"
One person reworded the apology to what they thought was a better fit.
3. Don't Do It Again
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" 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
A button titled "nope" encapsulated one Twitter user's reaction.
7. Not A Good Look
Some were cynical about it.
And some were left speechless.
Many Twitter users didn't agree with the sense of humor McGrath stated in the statement.
10. "What is Happening?"
"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?"
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
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
One Twitter user suggested that Bill Clinton publicly condemn Bush.
People just didn't know what to do with the information.
19. This GIF
20. Where Is The Family's Criticism?
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.