• Bush asked Obama what she thought of the criticism Ellen DeGeneres received for sitting next to her father, former President George W. Bush, at a football game earlier this year.
  • Obama recalled the fun times she's had sitting next to President Bush at events and said that their "values are the same."
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Former First Lady Michelle Obama came to Ellen DeGeneres' defense after the talk show host was lambasted for sitting next to former President George W. Bush at a football game earlier this year.

Bush's daughter Jenna Bush asked Obama about the backlash during an interview for the "Today" show, which aired Tuesday morning.

"I think you're friends with both Ellen and my dad. And they sat next to each other which caused some sort of online backlash," Bush said. "Your husband recently talked about the dangers of cancel culture. What do you say to people that want to be closer with each other?"

Michelle Obama and George W. Bush
Michelle Obama and George W. Bush
Eric Gay/AP

Obama went on to recall the many times she's sat next to Bush at events and said that she finds she has a lot in common with the Republican.

"I had the opportunity to sit by your father at funerals, the highs and the lows, and we shared stories about our kids and about our parents. Our values are the same, we disagree on policy. But we don't disagree on humanity," Obama said. "We don't disagree about love and compassion. I think that's true for all of us. It's just that we get lost in our fear of what's different."

DeGeneres had a similar defense when she was criticized for laughing with Bush at the Packers-Cowboys game in October.

"Just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not gonna be friends with them," DeGeneres said.

Obama and Bush's chummy relationship has become the highlight of events that include all of the living presidents and their wives coming together.

Though they weren't seated next to each other at President Bush's father's funeral last year, Bush made sure to pass Obama a mint before taking his seat a callback to a similar moment they shared at Sen. John McCain's funeral.

In another "Today" show interview last year, she called Bush her "partner in crime."

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