Laura Bush says that the Republican Party has room for all candidates -- even the ones who "frightened" women with unconventional remarks about rape.

During an interview that aired on Monday, CNN host Erin Burnett asked the former first lady if the Republican Party "has made a mistake in doubling down" and making issues like same sex marriage and abortion central to its platform, which may have contributed to President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012.

"Well, no, I wouldn't say that necessarily," Bush replied. "And every candidate was different, each one of them. There were obviously some examples of candidates that were -- that I think frightened some women, but they were the exception rather than the norm in the party."

"And, you know, all of those social issues are very, very heartfelt by people," she added. "And I understand that. There are differences, and people -- you know, there just will be. And I'm glad that in our party, we have room for all of them."

Bush was most likely referring to remarks made by former Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, who said women could not get pregnant from "legitimate rape," and former Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who suggested that pregnancies from rape were a gift from God. Both Akin and Mourdock lost their elections in 2012.

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast March 11, 2013.