November 4th, 2008
10:56 AM ET
5 years ago

The missing (current) president

President Bush has been missing in action for the past few days.
President Bush has been missing in action for the past few days.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Only one thing breaks the sound of silence at the White House today – the pounding of hammers outside the north fence as workers construct the inaugural parade grandstand.

President Bush, for the fifth day in a row, has no public events on his schedule. Even the daily White House briefing has been cancelled for Tuesday.

Mr. Bush and First Lady Laura cast their ballots for John McCain via absentee ballot on October 24th. In every preceding election, the President voted in person at the polls in Crawford, Texas.

Related: Bush absent from the campaign trail

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino says President Bush plans to stay at the White House tonight and watch election returns come in with family and friends, while celebrating Laura Bush's 62nd birthday.

At the White House briefing Monday, Perino commented not only on the president's absence from the campaign trail – but from the ballot.

"It's the first time in 14 years that President Bush hasn't been on the ballot," said Perino. "And that's a different role for him than in the past."

Regarding President Bush's dropping out of sight this week, Perino explained, "Look, we are realistic about the political environment that we are in. The Republican Party wanted to make this election about John McCain, and that's appropriate."

Perino blamed the President's low 28 percent approval ratings in part on unpopular actions he's taken like proposing the 700 billion dollar financial rescue plan.

"And often when you do big things and you make tough decisions, they're not popular. President Bush understands that," said Perino. "When he goes home to Texas, President Bush will be able to look in the mirror and know that he was true to his values and true to his principles. And that's what keeps him going."


Filed under: John McCain • President Bush
soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. Juan Grain

    It is a sound that I am loving! And will be loving it for the next Eight years!
    Obama Today!

    November 4, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Uncle Fester

    AWOL
    What else is new?

    November 4, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Millie

    Too bad he didn't stay away for the past 8 years

    November 4, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    He should come out and hang his head and apologize to the American people for the mess he got this country into. And that slimebag Cheney should too!!

    November 4, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. The Watcher

    He was preparing the way for this "Messiah". Now that he has arrived, Bush's role must decrease while the annointed One increases.

    November 4, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. CanIcallyouJoe

    This is no surprise. In the 8 years holding fraudulent presidential office, Mr. Bush has taken an accumulated 2 years in vacation time.

    November 4, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. T.O. for BO

    Bush is probably curled up in the fetal position somewhere in the White House !!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. Bill

    loser

    November 4, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. mb

    The president has no one but him and his party to blame for this. But I betcha he and the first lady voted for Obama.

    November 4, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. Grandblvd03

    He was true to his values, no doubt about that. And that's why republicans are losing. Bush's values suck.

    November 4, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. Jim D

    He may have been true to his values, but when your values are "Lie, Cheat, and Steal" – that's a problem.

    November 4, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Alesia

    I honestly think that President Bush believes that McCain very well may lose. Go OBAMA!!!!

    November 4, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. FED UP!

    He'd better cocoon himself up in there for the next three months. It seems like the country runs better when the Bush hibernates!!!

    Don't show your ugly face to this nation again, you horrible man!!

    November 4, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. ralph tyler

    Crawford must be so proud.

    November 4, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. CTSadler

    Maybe he's beginning to realize that the country hates him beacause he is the worst president EVER.

    November 4, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Rena

    Yeah, and those value would be what? Lies, murder, and robbing Americans of their life savings; while he lined his pocket. Now, to leave the white house to go back too Texas and live like a fat hog. He deserves a 0% for his Presidential ratings; he destroyed this country.

    November 4, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. Election watcher

    The sooner Bush is history the better. He must be the worst US president of all time. Sadly, the next president will still have 77 days to work with this joker and his evil sidekick, Cheney.

    November 4, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Steve/ Houston,TX

    It is interesting George Bush is spending his last days at the White House while he spent the bulk of his presidency in Crawford, TX.

    November 4, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. PA for Obama

    Isn't it vacation time?

    Why would this be any different?

    November 4, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Fred the moderate

    This president has been missing in action for the past 8 years! He has taken more vacations than any president in history. He came up with more numskull Ideas than any president in history and certianly is the least liked president in history. Bush, your poll numbers show it – you are the lowest rated president – more than any other ever- and history will show it!

    So why not vote for someone you can identify with!

    November 4, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. thomas

    The way Bush has performed, he's fortunate they're not constructing a gallows outside the White House.

    November 4, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Republican

    He screwed up every thing

    November 4, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Everyone vote!

    Of course you will!

    All this stuff could be avoided if America would vote-by-mail like we do in Oregon.

    Best thing is NO MEDIA hanging around polling places because we don't have polling places...or hanging chads, or bad weather problems, or transportation problems, or bad voting machine problems.

    It is quiet and serene here today! In Oregon, the vote-by-mail state and the most BEAUTIFUL STATE IN THE WORRRRRLD!

    November 4, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. jason

    Does anyone else get the impression that Dubya is taking advantage of this down time to catch up on Tiny Toons?

    November 4, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. chucky1169469

    McCain supporters are angry this morning

    November 4, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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