This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," September 1, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: A television first, first lady Laura Bush and the next possible first lady Cindy McCain right here together "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: Wonderful to see both of you. Mrs. Bush, nice to see you, and Mrs. McCain, very nice to see you.

I suppose we should talk--the convention got turned a little bit upside down. Not exactly what we expected, is it Mrs. Bush.?

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY: That's right, because we're paying attention to what is happening on the gulf coast and I know that organizers of the convention will look at it day by day and will see what happens and what goes on.

But today Cindy and I went to service projects at Target and Fed-Ex and the Red Cross are doing together to put together hygiene kits for all of the people who had to evacuate and were in shelters in various places.

A lot of good things I think will come out of this very first day of the convention with people really making an effort to give to the people across the gulf coast as we watch and hope that there won't be that much damage.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you--do you have any plans? Do you know what is going to happen day by day, Mrs. McCain, or are you playing it by ear?

CINDY MCCAIN, WIFE OF SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: No, we're playing it by ear. Obviously, we're waiting to see what happens and what the level of devastation down there.

What is most important right now is what is going on in gulf. And, as we said earlier, all of us are Americans tonight, and we need to remember that.

Watch Greta's interview with first lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain

VAN SUSTEREN: I suppose that it would have been helpful for Mrs. Bush to sort of guide you through and know what to expect, but the hurricane has sort of changed the dynamics. How do you advise Mrs. McCain?

MCCAIN: I'll take any advice she can give me.

BUSH: She is very accomplished. She has already really done so many things internationally, things that it took me a long time to realize that I had the opportunity to do after George was elected.

Just in the last few months, while she has been campaigning with her husband, she has been to Rwanda with "The One" program. She has been to Tbilisi, Georgia, with the World Food Program. She has been to Vietnam with "Operation Smile."

So she really is very, very accomplished. If she had done all that much just in these few months, you can imagine what she can accomplish as first lady.

VAN SUSTEREN: It is sort of interest, the job of first lady, it's a job without a description. We have covered Mrs. Bush when she went to the Middle East Basically, I think we hit almost every country in five days. It's hard to keep up with her on breast cancer awareness.

But it's interesting the platform--if your husband is elected, you have already got one, but imagine that.

MCCAIN: First of all, I can't even believe I'm here. Occasionally I have to pinch myself. I'm flattered by what Mrs. Bush says, because I have looked to her for guidance whether she knew it or not through the years because of her strength and her dignity and her character throughout their eight years in the White House has been remarkable.

If I'm lucky enough to be with my husband and be in the White House, I could only hope to do a portion of what she has done. I really mean that. I'm so honored to be here next to her.

VAN SUSTEREN: How often do you talk to your husband these days?

MCCAIN: I talk to him three or four times a day.

VAN SUSTEREN: How many times do you talk to your husband?

BUSH: I haven't talked to my husband. When I went back to the hotel to call him, I know he was in San Antonio or in Austin or he wasn't available. But I'll talk to him tonight, I'm sure.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do either you get nervous when greeting this huge audience?

BUSH: I do.

MCCAIN: I do, too. My husband is very good to this. This is new to me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Big news, the vice presidential candidate on the Republican ticket, a woman.

MCCAIN: I'm thrilled.

BUSH: I'm so happy. I think it was such a terrific choice, and John McCain--I have been wanting to vote for a Republican woman, and I am so thrilled to get to this time.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you met her?

BUSH: Yes, sure, of course. I have known her coming in for the National Governor's Association for the last couple of years, and George and I just stopped in Alaska on our way to Asia for the Olympics, and stopped in Alaska to see our troops, and she was there.

And I think he made a really brilliant choice of someone who is just so strong, like a lot of western women are.

VAN SUSTEREN: She is remarkable.

BUSH: She has got the experience that no one else has. She has been a mayor. When you're a mayor, you're very close to your constituents. They are your next-door neighbors.

And so she is somebody who really knows how cities and towns are affected by rules that come out of the federal government and what it's like to run a city or a town. And I think that's unbelievable experience for somebody on the ticket.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you push your husband in the direction of a woman or tell him we would like to see a woman on the Republican ticket?

MCCAIN: Through the years, of course, I have always said I would like to see a woman on the ticket.

But when he spoke to me about the possible consideration, I jumped for joy, because I knew her. And I just think she is remarkable. She is a reformer. She is tough. She is straight-talking. She is a maverick. She is a true western woman, and I could not be happier. She is truly a great match for my husband, and I'm thrilled with it.

VAN SUSTEREN: What about sexism? Do you think there is sexism in the media and in politics, do you think she is going to get hit a little bit?

MCCAIN: A woman with the kind of credentials like she has, I think anyone who would try to hit her with that would be way out of line and be very misunderstanding of who she is. She is a wonderful woman.


BUSH: I think that might be a part of it. But I think people will really watch themselves. And I certainly think the media will watch themselves. We certainly hope so.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is the campaign surprise you at all, Mrs. McCain, as it has developed? Is this what you expected?

MCCAIN: It's a surprise every day. I remember where we were a year ago. No one ever expected us to be here. They pretty much counted us out.

So the fact that we're here and a nominee of the party and in contention for the highest office in the land is what America is all about. I'm truly--every day is a surprise to me, to answer your question, absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: What about the media with the children? You have two daughters. You have a number of children as well.

MCCAIN: A collection.

VAN SUSTEREN: And not to mention all of the pets at home. How do you get the media off your kids?

BUSH: I think the media will be pretty good about it. When George was elected, they really pretty much left Chelsea Clinton alone. So I asked him the same thing. And I think by and large they have respected that. So I hope they'll do that.

I really do think that it's a burden on children. They worry about their parents when their parents are in public life like that. And at first they don't like to see their parents criticized.

And I know that, because I happen to have a father-in-law and a mother-in-law who were in the job. And so I know what it's like to be the child of somebody in public life.

So I hope that--and I do really think that in general, the media and the general public give your kids a break, and I hope that will be continue to be the case.

VAN SUSTEREN: So are you looking forward to this until November?

MCCAIN: Absolutely, it's a lot of fun. It's a once in a lifetime experience in terms of being where we are right now for the first time. And to be in contention and being able to travel the country like this, I have really had a good time with this. I really have.

I mean, there have been days where it's been tough, but all in all it's been a remarkable experience, and I'm so proud to be here.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's nice to see both of you, Mrs. Bush and Mrs. McCain-

MCCAIN: Thank you very much.

VAN SUSTEREN: And obviously we are carefully watching the campaign. Thanks to both of you.

BUSH: Thanks, Greta.

MCCAIN: Thanks for having us, I appreciate it.


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