Michelle Obama and George W. Shrub have garnered lot of of reactions over the last few years from americans shocked to discover their friendship. 

Bush thinks that reaction is a problem.

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"It shocked me," the previous president, 74, called "CBS Sunday Morning" in a recent interview, recalling a minute in 2016 in ~ the opened of the National Museum of african American history and society when the two of them went viral end a photograph of them hugging. 

"We gained in the car and also I think Barbara or Jenna said, "Hey, you"re trending!" The American people were so surprised the Michelle Obama and also I can be friends. I think it"s a trouble that Americans are so polarized in their thinking that lock can"t imagine a George W. Bush and a Michelle Obama gift friends," the said. 

"Our values are the same":Michelle Obama defends friendship v George W. Bush

Some more viral moments shared between the unlikely duo: Bush sharing a cough drop v Obama in ~ Sen. John McCain"s funeral in 2018, and also again in ~ his father George H. W. Bush"s funeral a few months later. 

Obama explained in 2018 the the two room "forever seatmates" because of the seating protocols for ex-presidents and also their couple at official events. 

"He is my companion in crime in ~ every major thing where all the formers gather," she called the "Today" show. "I love him come death. He"s a wonderful man. He"s a funny man."

Speaking the adhering to year to "Today" host Jenna bush Hager, Bush"s daughter, Obama opened up around how the two had found usual ground in spite of supporting various parties – and despite she husband, previous President Barack Obama, commonly denouncing Bush"s policies throughout his campaign and presidency. (Ellen DeGeneres was an in similar way criticized because that befriending a politician who critics suggested upheld legislations that endangered the safety and well-being of minorities.) 

"Our values space the same," Michelle Obama said. "We i dont agree on policy however we don’t disagree on humanity. We don’t disagree about love and compassion. Ns think that’s true for every one of us."

It would certainly seem the two would agree on the mankind at the facility of Bush"s newest project: “Out the Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants,” a brand-new book of paintings by the former president, is the end Tuesday, and features 43 portraits by the 43rd president, of immigrant he has come to know over the years, in addition to biographical essays he wrote around each that them.

Bush became well-known because that his paints after leaving office in 2009, which come as a surprised to many – including his wife, Laura Bush.

"I to be shocked. He hadn"t even ever looked in ~ art," she claimed with a laugh. "I mean, us lived through a major American collection at the White House. ... That was no at all interested."

In 2007, the former president unsuccessfully driven for an overhaul of the U.S. Immigrant system, and also has claimed that fail to action on immigration is among the good regrets that his presidency. Now, he claims he hopes this project will aid create "a much better understanding" around the role immigration theatre in America. 

"I don"t want to it is in prescriptive. Ns don"t want to call Congress exactly how to perform this or that," bush told CBS. "I execute want to tell conference to please put aside every the harsh rhetoric around immigration. Please placed aside trying to score political points on one of two people side.

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Ns hope I can help set a tone that is much more respectful around the immigrant, which may cause reform the the system."

Contributing: Matthew Brown, USA TODAY; The associated Press

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