Laura Bush: Some GOP Candidates 'Frightened' Women in 2012 Election

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(Photo: Screenshot/CNN)Former first lady Laura Bush discusses the 2012 election cycle on CNN on March 11, 2013.

In a recent interview, former first lady Laura Bush spoke on the GOP party's 2012 election cycle, arguing that although she does not believe Republicans should distance themselves from social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, she does believe that there were candidates who "frightened some women."

The topic came up when Bush was asked if Republicans should separate themselves from social issues, such as same-sex marriage and abortion, in order to receive more women's votes.

"No, I wouldn't say that, necessarily," Bush said in the Monday interview on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

"Every candidate was different, you know, each one of them," the wife to former U.S. President George W. Bush continued.

"There are obvious examples of candidates that were – that I think frightened some women, but they were the exception rather than the norm in the party," Bush continued.

Bush added that she believes many of the social issues addressed by the Republican Party are very important to the American public, and therefore shouldn't be ignored in politics.

"All of those social issues are very, very heartfelt by people," she said. "And I understand their differences. And I'm glad that in our party we have room for all of them. I think that's important too."

(Video: CNN)
Former first lady Laura Bush discusses the 2012 election cycle on CNN on March 11, 2013.

The 2012 presidential election saw an 18-point gender gap which critics say contributed largely to the re-election of Barack Obama.

During the 2012 election cycle, a small portion of GOP candidates made controversial comments regarding social issues which resulted in a media firestorm.

One such candidate was U .S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who in August 2012 was the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat before he lost the race to Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.

Akin received a massive amount of public backlash when he said that in cases of "a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

A similar instance occurred a few months later when Indiana State Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, also a Republican, said that cases of pregnancy resulting from rape were "something God intended" because he believes life begins at conception. He later clarified, "What I said is God creates life. As a person of faith, I believe that."

Mourdock ultimately lost his Senate race to Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly.

Bush has previously expressed her opinion on social issues, saying in a 2010 interview with CNN that she supports same-sex marriage, although recently she requested that interview clip be removed from a Respect for Marriage Coalition commercial supporting same-sex marriage.

Bush has also been an outspoken advocate for international women's rights, and currently chairs the Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.