It doesn't matter that their wife and brother, respectively, both hope to be the next president of the United States — Bill Clinton and George W. Bush say that nothing is going to come between their unlikely friendship.
"He loves his brother," Clinton told USA Today Thursday during a joint interview with Bush. "I love Hillary." If both wind up being their party's nominee, "he's going to vote for his brother; I'm sure going to vote for Hillary, and something will happen. But we'll still be friends." Clinton added, "If they win the nominations, it's going to be a very hard-fought campaign, and if it's like any other campaign, it'll be somewhat bruising, and the surrogates will be really tough, and they'll have hard debates, and we'll just live with it."
Bush also is sure that the relationship he has with Clinton won't change the tone of a potential Hillary versus Jeb race. "I don't think it's going to be different," he said. "I think it's going to be a political campaign. ... I know Jeb will treat Hillary with respect, and I'm confident Hillary will treat Jeb with respect. I'm not sure I can speak that highly of some of the surrogates they may have out there, but these two surrogates will."
Both men know that their friendship is surprising to many, but as Bush points out, they have a lot in common, beyond just being Baby Boomers and former governors of southern states. "[We're] affable people; we're not zero-sum thinkers," he said. They're also "like two old war horses, put out to pasture." Clinton shares a strong bond with George H.W. Bush as well, and W. has joked that Clinton's his "brother by another mother." Clinton is relishing the fact that Bush just had a birthday, turning 69 right before he does. "For one month a year, I'm the younger brother," he said.