03/06/2012 01:57 am ET

Barbara Bush: 2012 Campaign The 'Worst' I've Ever Seen

Barbara Bush has some harsh words about the current presidential election, calling it "the worst campaign I've ever seen in my life," according to the Dallas Morning News.

The former first lady, who held the position while her husband George H.W. Bush served as president from 1989 to 1993, made the comment at Southern Methodist University on Monday, during a conference chronicling the the experiences and legacies of presidents' wives. Bush appeared alongside her daughter-in-law Laura Bush, whose husband George W. Bush introduced both women to the stage.

Expanding on her opinion about the tenor of the current campaign season, Barbara Bush stated: "I hate the fact that people think 'compromise' is a dirty word." She did not single out any candidates, for better or worse. However, as the New York Times notes, she has campaigned for Mitt Romney in recent days.

According to the Dallas Morning News:

Laura Bush tended to be more diplomatic. When asked about the loss of civility in Washington, she recalled viewing vicious political cartoons aimed at Abraham Lincoln and said, “You see that, and you realize it’s just a part of American politics.”

Her mother-in-law disagreed, saying the current political atmosphere was the worst she could remember. “I think the rest of the world is looking at us these days and saying, ‘What are you doing?’” she said.

The two women spent much of the rest of the event discussing their memories from the White House. In particular, Barbara Bush talked fondly of her personal office.

From the Washington Post:

I loved my little office because it was — besides being Nancy Reagan’s beauty parlor, which she didn’t like me to say, but it was — the dogs were born here and you could look out the window at Jackson Place and Lafayette Square and you could see all sorts of wonderful things.