Twins narrowly miss confrontation

Fresh from their political debut in Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, first daughters Barbara and Jenna Bush giggled through their introduction of White House chief of staff Andrew Card Wednesday, and narrowly avoided a confrontation with AIDS activists.

After leaving the microphone, and as Card spoke, 10 activists rose from amid the ranks of young Republicans at the morning Youth Convention in the Garden and unfurled a protest banner. They blew whistles, waved anti-war messages and chanted "Bush kills!"

A scuffle broke out between the protesters and participants, and the police removed the demonstrators.

Paris Dennard, 22, of Arizona, was so appalled, he blocked a news camera lens with a pro-Bush sign to keep the scene from being televised, "so they would not defile this wonderful youth convention."

"They started shouting whatever they were shouting and we drowned them out with chants of 'USA! USA!'" Dennard, a delegate, said.

Dressed casually in jeans, the bright-eyed Bush twins were all smiles as they offered up a few comments to the audience of more than 2,000 young Republicans.

Jenna Bush spoke of her father's being the right man to be president.

"He can take the heat as a dad and as president," she said.

Barbara Bush addressed her father's character.

"Our father has always been open-minded," she said. "He has always been either governor or president, but at our house and to our friends, he has always been just dad."

"I thought it was a good speech in essence," Nicholas Wright, 19, of New Canaan, Conn., said of the twins' performance the night before.

"Their speech quality wasn't the best, but the feeling was there," Wright said. "They just wanted to help their dad. They tried and I think they did OK."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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