POLITICS
03/12/2013 09:52 am ET Updated Mar 12, 2013

Laura Bush: GOP Has Some Candidates Who 'Frightened' Women

Former First Lady Laura Bush said in an interview that aired Monday that some candidates in the Republican Party "frightened" women, but those individuals were the "exception" within the GOP.

During an appearance on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront," Bush reflected on the 2012 election and how the Republican Party fared with female voters.

“Every candidate was different, you know, each one of them,” Bush said. “There are obvious examples of candidates that were, that I think frightened some women, but they were the exception rather than the norm in the party."

During the 2012 election, several Republican candidates faced backlash after making controversial remarks on women's health.

Former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who unsuccessfully challenged Democrat Claire McCaskill for her Missouri Senate seat, drew immense criticism after he claimed victims of "legitimate rape" rarely become pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

And in October, Indiana Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock said he opposed abortion even in cases of rape, because "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape ... it is something that God intended to happen." Mourdock later lost the Senate race to then-Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

While Bush acknowledged the negative impact these remarks had on each candidate's campaign, she said that Republicans shouldn't shy away from addressing social issues in future races.

"All of those social issues are very, very heartfelt by people," she said. "And I understand that, there are differences... And I'm glad that in our party we have room for all of them. I think that's important too."

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