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Inside Politics

Laura Bush brushes aside Heinz Kerry's remarks

'She didn't have to apologize. I know how tough it is.'

Laura Bush speaks on Thursday with citizens in New London, New Hampshire, on a campaign stop.
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Laura Bush
Teresa Heinz
America Votes 2004

LEBANON, New Hampshire (CNN) -- Laura Bush on Thursday brushed off comments about her work experience that were made by Teresa Heinz Kerry, who told USA Today she was unsure if Bush had ever held a "real job."

Asked about Heinz Kerry's apology Wednesday for what she said, Bush responded, "It didn't matter to me. It didn't hurt my feelings. It was perfectly all right that she apologized. She didn't have to apologize. I know how tough it is. And actually I know those trick questions."

Bush talked to reporters outside the Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon, New Hampshire, as she prepared to give a speech.

Heinz Kerry said Wednesday she was "sincerely sorry" for making the comments during an interview that appeared in Wednesday's USA Today. (Heinz Kerry apologizes for remark)

"I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a school teacher and librarian, and there couldn't be a more important job than teaching our children," Heinz Kerry said.

"As someone who has been both a full-time mom and full-time in workforce, I know we all have valuable experiences that shape who we are.

"I appreciate and honor Mrs. Bush's service to the country as first lady, and am sincerely sorry I had not remembered her important work in the past."

Laura Bush was a teacher and librarian in Texas from 1968 to 1977.

Heinz Kerry made the comments to the newspaper when asked about the differences between the first lady and her.

"Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job -- I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things."

Born in Mozambique, Heinz Kerry worked for the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations in the 1960s when she moved to the United States.

She has also been the chairman of The Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family Philanthropies since her first husband, Sen. John Heinz, died in a plane crash in 1991.

Heinz Kerry has three sons and two step-daughters.

The first lady has two daughters.

CNN's Silvio Carrillo contributed to this report.

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