Ellen DeGeneres responds to backlash over sitting with George Bush at Cowboys game

Ellen Degeneres raised eyebrows when she was spotted sitting in a luxury suite with former President George W. Bush at Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers game.

People were surprised to see the celebrity and LGBTQ icon being chummy with the oft-criticized conservative president best known for ramping up the Iraq war in the 2000s, and Degneres received plenty of backlash on social media.

Ellen: I’m friends with Bush

She responded to the reactions on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Monday, explaining that she and her wife Portia de Rossi were guests of Charlotte Jones, the daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — and that she’s friends with Bush.

“People were upset. They thought why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president,” Degeneres said amid a mostly light, joke-filled monologue. ... “Here’s the thing. I’m friends with George Bush. In fact I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different, and I think we’ve forgotten that it’s OK that we’re all different.

“But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them. When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”

Degeneres focused on a message of unity during divisive times. It’s a positive message, indeed, but not one likely to satisfy Bush critics who view his time in office as a dark period in American history.

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Ellen DeGeneres raised eyebrows when she was spotted siting next to George W. Bush at a Cowboys game. (Getty)