Arnold Schwarzenegger Remembers Sending Barbara Bush to the Hospital While Sledding With George: ‘I Didn’t Know How to Steer!’ (Video)

The actor and fitness icon tells Kelly Clarkson that, fortunately, the first lady took it in stride

For as long as they’ve been in the public eye, you may think you’ve heard everything there is to hear about the Bush family — but Arnold Schwarzenegger is here to change that.

Sitting with “The Kelly Clarkson Show” on Wednesday, the action star detailed a literal run-in he had with First Lady Barbara Bush in the early ’90s that sent her to the hospital and put her leg in a cast. And President George H. W. Bush was along for the ride.

“I heard this crazy story. It’s random and I have to know if it’s true,” host Kelly Clarkson prompted. “Did you accidentally break a first lady’s ankle — and how does that happen, if so?”

Apparently, it goes back to Schwarzenegger’s days as President Bush’s chairman of the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition and a particularly fateful winter trip to Camp David.

“He would invite me up there literally, like, every month. He loved hanging out with me and working out with me. We did throwing horseshoe and, you know, going running up there and all this stuff. And I was one time up there in the winter,” Schwarzenegger began. “And so he says to me, ‘I’ve got this great sled,’ which was not really a sled, it was a toboggan.

“With sleds, you can steer the sleds with your feet, but that one I couldn’t really steer,” he continued. “And so you go down the hill in the snow, he’s sitting behind me, and he says, ‘You steer.’ And I did not know how to steer. So it’s just going faster and faster, and all of a sudden we’re approaching this tree. And all of a sudden Barbara comes out behind the tree. And then we just ran into her leg.”

The actor explained that the first lady had to “go to the hospital afterwards,” that she had “a sprained leg” and was put in a cast — “the whole thing.”

“Poor Barbara Bush,” Schwarzenegger lamented at the memory.

“But I have to say, they were very gracious about it and the way that they took it,” he concluded. “And, you know, I apologized. I said I feel really bad. She was a wonderful first lady.”

The story adds additional color to an April 2018 Instagram post in which Schwarzenegger remembered the first lady at the time of her death.

He wrote, “Once, at Camp David, she broke her ankle while we were sledding, and I will never forget her response. She refused to let any of us go with her to the hospital and demanded that we keep enjoying ourselves.”

“Barbara, your friendship means the world to me,” he concluded. “Thank you for your never-ending inspiration.”

Watch the full “Kelly Clarkson Show” clip in the video above.


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