"Now I'm going to have to call my mother and apologize," he quickly added.
White House press secretary Jay Carney posted a message on Twitter stating: "Great news re POTUS 41," a reference to Bush as the nation's 41st president. "From 44 down, we all are relieved he's out of the hospital and wish him & his family well."
Bush had served two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice president when he was elected in 1988 to be the nation's 41st president. Four years later, after a term highlighted by the success of the 1991 Gulf War in Kuwait, he lost to Democrat Bill Clinton amid voter concerns about the economy.
Bush has a long record of service, beginning with his enlistment in the Navy in World War II. At one point, he was the nation's youngest naval aviator. He was shot down in the Pacific and rescued by an American submarine. He's also been a congressman from Texas, U.S. ambassador to China and CIA director.
He suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease that has forced him in recent years to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around.
Associated Press writers Erik Schelzig in Nashville, Tenn., and Jim Kuhnhenn in Washington contributed to this story.