Donald Trump makes a rare concession of defeat in eulogizing Barbara Bush

President Donald Trump speaking at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump often compares himself to other presidents — and often finds his predecessors lacking.

At a joint press conference Wednesday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Donald J. Trump Grand Ballroom at Mar-a-Lago, for instance, Trump said he has done more than past presidents to get North Korea to consider ending its nuclear weapons program.

“We have come a long way with North Korea. We were, as you know — and when I say ‘we,’ for many years, they’ve been talking to North Korea and nothing has happened. This should have been taken care of by past administrations when they were not nearly so far along. But we put unbelievably powerful sanctions on, and many other things,” Trump said.

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But Trump conceded Wednesday there is at least one presidential category in which he falls short — marital longevity.

Trump began Wednesday’s event by eulogizing former first lady Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92.

She and former President George H.W. Bush were married 73 years.

“I’ll never beat that record,” remarked the twice-divorced Trump, who has been married to first lady Melania Trump for 13 years.

Here are the president’s full remarks on Barbara Bush:

“I want to begin today by expressing my deep condolences to the entire Bush family on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush, a wonderful, wonderful person. For decades, Barbara was a titan in American life. Her presence and character were engraved into America’s identity.

“Her strength and toughness really embodied the spirit of our country. And her warmth and devotion earned the admiration of an entire nation and, indeed, the entire world. She was a tireless champion for literacy. She was a fierce advocate for the American family. And she was a woman of proud patriotism and profound faith.

“Our hearts are saddened by her passing, but our spirits are lifted by the memories of her goodness and her grace. She was a good person.

“Melania and I send our prayers to Barbara’s husband of 73 years — I’ll never beat that record — President George H.W. Bush; to the surviving children — Jeb, and Neil, and Marvin, Dorothy, and former President George W. Bush; and to their many wonderful grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”