Former Presidents Bush and Clinton got smiles, hugs and requests for autographs when they met with refugees from Hurricane Katrina, but it was Bush's wife who got attention for some of her comments.
Barbara Bush, who accompanied the former presidents on a tour of the Astrodome complex Monday, said the relocation to Houston is "working very well" for some of the poor people forced out of New Orleans.
"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality," she said during a radio interview with the American Public Media program "Marketplace." "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."
Her comments came as the two former presidents visited with hundreds of the 23,600 hurricane refugees and announced the creation of the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, the AP informs.
"We're most anxious to roll up our sleeves and get to work," George H.W. Bush said. "It will take all of us working together to accomplish our goal. This job is too big for any one group."
The elder Bush said he doesn't like the criticism leveled at his son, President Bush, but added, "As a president it goes with territory."
As the Bushes entered a shelter set up at the Reliant Center with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Perry and Barbara Bush immediately gravitated toward two children, while former president Bush shook hands with a group of men.
After a brief exchange with one girl, Barbara Bush grabbed her hand and took her to meet her husband. Barbara Bush placed her arm around the girl's back and the child smiled widely as she talked with the former president.