“I didn’t realize at the time that anybody noticed what we were doing,” Obama told the “Today” show on Thursday, during an appearance to discuss International Day of the Girl.
The moment did in fact gain a lot of notice in the press and on social media, although critics pointed out in the subsequent days and weeks that just because a guy gives someone a lozenge doesn’t mean he can’t do destructive, divisive things as well.
Obama said Thursday that Bush’s “simple gesture” during the September service came about because the pair are “forever seatmates because of protocol.”
“That’s how we sit at all the official functions, so he is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather,” she said.
She noted that Bush’s cough drop may not have been of the most recent vintage.
“That’s the funny thing, because they were in the little White House box, and I was like, ‘How long have you had these?’” Obama said. “And he said, ‘A long time, we got a lot of these.’”