Bill Clinton defeated Bush in the 1992 presidential election, and in the years after the election they became good friends, political observers said.
Read Clinton’s full statement below:
Hillary and I mourn the passing of President George H.W. Bush, and give thanks for his great long life of service, love, and friendship.
I will be forever grateful for the friendship we formed. From the moment I met him as a young governor invited to his home in Kennebunkport, I was struck by the kindness he showed to Chelsea, by his innate and genuine decency, and by his devotion to Barbara, his children, and their growing brood.
Few Americans have been—or will ever be—able to match President Bush’s record of service to the United States and the joy he took every day from it; from his military service in World War II, to his work in Congress, the United Nations, China, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Vice Presidency and the Presidency, where he worked to move the post Cold War world toward greater unity, peace, and freedom.
He never stopped serving. I saw it up close, working with him on tsunami relief in Asia and here at home after Hurricane Katrina. His remarkable leadership and great heart were always on full display.
I am profoundly grateful for every minute I spent with President Bush and will always hold our friendship as one of my life’s greatest gifts.
Our hearts and prayers are with George, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, their families, and the entire Bush clan.