Ellen DeGeneres Defends Sitting with George W. Bush at Cowboys Game Despite Different Politics

"I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have," the talk show host said of her afternoon with the Bushes

Ellen DeGeneres has a positive message for anyone who was perplexed to see that she spent an afternoon with George W. and Laura Bush at the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday.

DeGeneres, 61, addressed the event, which sent Twitter into a tizzy the next day, pointing out on her talk show in a segment set to air Tuesday that it’s a good thing when two people of different backgrounds can be friendly.

After explaining on her show that she and wife Portia de Rossi had been invited to the game by Charlotte Jones, daughter of the Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, DeGeneres said, “During the game, they showed a shot of me and George laughing together, and so people were upset.”

“They thought, Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?” she said, joking that they “didn’t even notice I’m holding the brand-new iPhone 11” in the shot. “But a lot of people were mad, and they did what people do when they’re mad: They tweet.”

Instead of sharing the less savory comments, DeGeneres shared a positive tweet she says that she “loved,” which said, “Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again.”

To that, DeGeneres said, “Exactly. Here’s the thing. I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have.” (Bush, 73, was a guest on DeGeneres’ talk show in 2017).

George W. Bush, <a href="https://people.com/tag/ellen-degeneres/" data-inlink="true">Ellen DeGeneres</a>

“We’re all different, and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different,” she continued. “For instance, I wish people wouldn’t wear fur. I don’t like it, but I’m friends with people who wear fur. And I’m friends with people who are furry, as a matter of fact. I have friends who should tweeze more,” she joked.

“But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them,” she said. “When I say, ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”

“Even people who are already playing Christmas music — I mean seriously, there’s no excuse for that, but I’m kind to them,” she joked before thanking both Jerry and Charlotte Jones, as well as the Bushes “for a Sunday afternoon that was so fun — by the way, you owe me $6 for the nachos.”

<a href="https://people.com/tag/ellen-degeneres/" data-inlink="true">Ellen DeGeneres</a>
Ellen DeGeneres at Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys game in Texas. Ron Jenkins/AP/Shutterstock

The reactions to seeing DeGeneres and the former president sitting side by side ranged from bemused to critical.

One sarcastic Twitter user said, “So quirky and fun to see George Bush out with Ellen at a Cowboys game after his terrible foreign policy decisions killed thousands of innocent people.”

Another echoed the sentiment of the tweet that DeGeneres shared, writing, “I don’t know why people are hating on this. This is exactly what our world needs right now. We need to see that people who disagree politically can sit together, be kind, and enjoy a football game. Chill people. This is a good thing.”

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