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George HW Bush Calls Maddow & Olbermann "Sick Puppies," Maddow Responds

"When our son was president, they just hammered him mercilessly and I think obscenely a lot of the time," Bush told CBS Radio.

Rachel Maddow invites Republican officials to appear on her show "every day," the popular MSNBC anchor said Saturday, but only about one out of ten take up her offer.

Those numbers suggest Congressional Republicans are especially wary of a Maddow interrogation, since most politicians jump at the chance to appear on prime time news shows with good ratings. The "incentives" to appear differ for elected officials and operatives, she said, and the show draws more conservative "lobbyists and P.R. guys," who are paid to push their clients anywhere they can. (See Phillips, Tim.)

Maddow's comments came during an appearance at The New Yorker Festival on Saturday, in a sold-out session moderated by staff writer Ariel Levy.

The forum also presented an opportunity for Maddow to respond to an unusual attack from George H.W. Bush.

On Friday, the former President said Maddow and MSNBC host Keith Olbermann were "sick puppies" who dished out "horrible" treatment to their ideological opponents -- and to George W. Bush. "When our son was president, they just hammered him mercilessly and I think obscenely a lot of the time," he told CBS Radio.

Maddow said she was "flattered" by the response. She said that the comments also drew a one-line note from her father, who asked if the barb meant that the former President watched the show.

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