The political opposites unite to help a hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast facility


Billed as an “unlikely duo,” two famous Georges – former President George Bush and George Clooney – made a joint appearance Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America to discuss their efforts to rebuild an emergency care hospital in Louisiana after it had been destroyed in Hurricane Rita.

“I thought we could add a little spice to this event, and, boy, was I right,” the former chief executive, 82, told GMA‘s Diane Sawyer, as PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive sat at his side.

Praising Clooney – who in the past has been highly critical of current President George W. Bush – Bush said, “What he has done for the morale of this town is remarkable.”

Not that the two didn’t also kid around for the camera. “Don’t ask about Barbara,” Bush told the 45-year-old ladies man.

“How’s Bill Clinton’s golf game?” Clooney wondered. Bush then said it wasn’t true that Clinton was nearly hit in the head with a golf ball while the two former presidents were playing recently. Bush also said he was “too old” to ask Clooney “about Britney Spears.”

On Wednesday, Bush, who had been personally asked by Clooney to participate in the reconstruction effort, presented local Louisiana officials with a $2 million donation from the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund that will pay for operating expenses once South Cameron Memorial Hospital is rebuilt next year, the Associated Press reports.

“I know there’s been a lot of tears shed over the past year,” said Bush. “Hurricane Rita, like Hurricane Katrina, showed us the very worst in nature but they’ve also brought out the best in our human nature.”

Clooney, managing to refer to his former role as Dr. Doug Ross on ER, told the appreciative crowd: “There is good news in all of this, which is that when the hospital gets up and running, I will not be doing any of the medical procedures.”

He also said, “I’m coming to remind people in the rest of the country that just because you’re not on the front page anymore, that all the problems that have been placed here from Katrina and Rita are not solved yet.”