Al Simpson and His Wife Reflect on Their Relationship With Late George H.W. Bush

Simpson will deliver a eulogy at the National Cathedral Wednesday morning.

The two men met for the last time in July.

Al and Ann Simpson became friends with George and Barbara Bush when the two men served in Congress together.

Their children grew up together.

Barbara helped Ann celebrate her 60th birthday.

Al Simpson looked a book of photographs and said, “That’s a great picture of Ann with Barbara.”

The Simpsons looked at the old photographs at their Cody home after television and newspaper reporters from around the world asked for the Senator’s comments on Bush’s legacy.

Simpson said he lost a friend, but, “The country lost a man who epitomized decency and loyalty and manners.”

Ann Simpson said Bush had integrity.

"If you have integrity, you can be depended upon.” She explained.

The Senator said Bush also had courage, when he supported a tax hike he felt was necessary, but knew would cost him politically.

Simpson said, “He said I believe in the country first. I fought for this country.”

Bush considered Simpson as a running mate in his 1988 presidential campaign.

The Senator asked to be taken off the list. But, they remained lifelong friends.

When we found the Simpson’s preparing to attend Barbara Bush’s funeral in April, Al remarked, “We fished together, we hunted together, we traveled together.”

The Simpsons left their home in Cody to attend the ceremonies in Washington, D.C.

But they aren’t just attendees.

Al has been chosen as one of the very few to present a eulogy at the National Cathedral.

The Simpsons last visited Bush at his home in July, where they had spent many holidays and vacations with the Simpsons through the years.

Al said, “First thing Ann went over and kissed him on his head and said, 'Hello Handsome, how are you?' And boy, he perked right up.”

Ann smiled, “And he did look handsome. He was such a proud man.”

Bush had one request for his old friend Al: Another Simpson joke.

Simpson recalled, “So I told it. It was a blaster. He went like this and his head went back and he started to choke. and cough and I said, ‘I didn’t come in here to kill you.’ And he said that’s the best one I’ve heard in a long time.’”

Even as his days were numbered, Bush kept his own humor.

Ann Simpson said, “He was a great appreciator of Al’s jokes, and he said Al you can tell them again because I forget them.’”

The Simpsons said the last thing they told Bush was that they loved him. The last thing he told them was, “I’m going to be fine.”