Obama wishes ailing First Lady Barbara Bush well

US President Barack Obama addresses his year-end news conference in the White House briefing room in Washington, on Dec 20, 2013. United States (US) President Barack Obama wished Mrs Barbara Bush well on Wednesday, saying he and his wife Michelle hop
US President Barack Obama addresses his year-end news conference in the White House briefing room in Washington, on Dec 20, 2013. United States (US) President Barack Obama wished Mrs Barbara Bush well on Wednesday, saying he and his wife Michelle hoped the ailing former First Lady would feel better soon. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States (US) President Barack Obama wished Mrs Barbara Bush well on Wednesday, saying he and his wife Michelle hoped the ailing former First Lady would feel better soon.

The 88-year-old was admitted to a Texas hospital on Monday for a "respiratory-related" issue, according to the office of her husband, former US President George H.W. Bush.

"Michelle and I send our best wishes to Mrs Bush for a speedy recovery," Mr Obama said in a statement.

"Barbara is blessed to have both a loving, supportive family by her side and a vibrant spirit that we hope will have her feeling better soon.

"I know I speak for Americans everywhere when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara and her family on this New Year's Day," he added.

Mrs Bush was First Lady from 1989 to 1993. She is also the mother of former US President George W. Bush, who was in the White House between 2001 and 2009.

In a brief update, Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath told Agence France-Presse the high-profile patient "had a wonderful day" and was continuing to respond to treatment.

On New Year's Eve, Mrs Bush watched American football with her husband, who also visited his wife's bedside on Wednesday afternoon, Mr McGrath said.

Former president Bill Clinton also sent his best, tweeting "I'll be rooting for Barbara Bush's full recovery".