WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Bush's final GOP convention speech as head of the Republican party will express "gratitude" to his supporters rather than attack Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Friday.
The president is due to deliver his speech Monday at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Perino said it will review "the major issues facing the country, from terrorism and war to the economy and the direction of our culture."
Perino added that in making the case for GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain's qualifications, the speech will reflect "on the role of the presidency and the qualities that are demanded by the job" of commander-in-chief.
"In particular, it highlights McCain's unique judgment, perspective and experience to deal with the unexpected, to stand firm on his convictions, put the country above himself and make hard decisions necessary to protect the American people," Perino said.
Despite less than five months left in President Bush's term, Perino said not to expect the speech to define his legacy.
"This is not an opportunity to recap accomplishments of the past seven and a half years," she said. "It will not serve as a farewell to the American people, and it certainly will not attack Barack Obama."
Asked why, Perino replied, "Because he's got class."
She added, "This president knows better than almost any politician in America what it's like to face criticism. He watched his dad as vice presidential candidate for two terms go through that, and then when his dad ran for president, he saw it again, and then in his own campaigns, the two national
elections. He knows what it's like in high political season, and he's not going to respond to every attack."