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. slickingdom

    Obviously George W. doesn't care anymore. Personally I don't think he and Johnny really like each other. He's shown none or very little support
    for the GOP nominee, always made up excuses about what he needs
    to handle before his term ends when questioned about this campaign.
    Republicans were way off base during this election and this is just one
    example. Change We Need, INDEED !!!

    Obama/Biden '08/'12

    November 4, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. TWILLIAMS

    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."

    LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!! – - – LOL!!! – - – HA HA!!!!

    November 4, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. Ken

    He probably is not endorsing McCain since McCain does not agree with Bush on many issues. I do think that Obama wants to run against him since it is the only platform he is running on.

    November 4, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Marius R Rowell

    The sound of silence coming from Beorge W Bush is the sweetest sound on earth – the less he says the better for us all.

    November 4, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Sam from Ohio

    In all honesty, won't we miss President Bush a little bit. I mean, he was good for a laugh now and then wasn't he?

    November 4, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. katie41

    Bush is tryng to stay hidden so as not to hurt McCain's chances. I don't think it will make much difference at all.

    November 4, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. joe six pack

    $1,000,000 reward for information that leads to the finding of our 43rd President!

    November 4, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Undecided for Obama

    Send the goon back to Texas!

    November 4, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Speider

    Whomever is elected, remember it is our right as a citizen to ask for what we want, demand what we need and question our government.

    "A true patriot questions his government."
    ~ Thomas Paine

    "The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty."
    ~ John Adams

    "The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."
    ~ James Madison

    "Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!"
    ~ Thomas Jefferson

    "Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder."
    ~ George Washington

    November 4, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. lori

    i feel sorry for the guy. i mean, yeah he was crap at this job, but he didn't elect himself. and i believe obama's success in this election is due much to bush's failure. if the bush administration hadn't been so bad, the american people wouldn't go for such a distinct change as is exemplified in barack obama.
    go and vote obama/biden 08!
    the wave of the future

    November 4, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Ken

    Bush will come out and celebrate tonight in Arizona tonight with the McCain victory

    November 4, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Nik

    Hasn't he been absent for most everything?

    November 4, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. Troy B.

    He's probably looking for bin Laden.

    November 4, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. The Cosmos Rocks!

    »Goodbye George!Bye!See you later...

    November 4, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. slick

    good riddance – he has lowered the standard for the American presidency to a level I never thought attainable, may history remember him as what he is, the worst president we have ever had

    November 4, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Jeb Bush will have a hard time running against Obama in 2012.
    Obama will probably be a 2 term president. Even strategically switching religions to Catholic won't help Jeb. If Hilary can't beat Obama, Jeb Bush won't be able to unless he's using his typically dirty tricks. Baby boy Bush is not going to be a president like his daddy and his brother. Poor cry baby Bush.

    November 4, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. legalbren

    Say what!!!!!!!! True to his values – you're kidding aren't you?

    November 4, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. Voter

    Hey, CNN. Last chance to run that ancient Bush/McCain photo? Are you a NEWS organization, or did I get that wrong?

    PS: I am not a McCain fan – I wouldn't vote for him if he were running unopposed.

    But you guys demonstrate daily the power of the media over American voters – and how easily it is misused.

    November 4, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  19. Ron

    Pretty sad when the republicans have to HIDE the current president from the public. That should tell you how to vote.

    November 4, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. dave g, minneapolis

    Now if only McCain and Obama would step aside for supporting the bailout and let Bob Barr in to stop these fat-cat supporters. The Obama-McCain bailout will just be continued when either one gets in office.

    Your grandkids will be paying for the McBama Automobile industry bailout, the Airline bailout, the second and third rounds of Bank bailouts and more.

    November 4, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. Ex-Republican For Obama

    yea, he was true to his values and principals alright. He truely wanted to ruin this nation and did everything he could to make it happen.

    Its people like him and McCain that are the cancer of our great nation. Kick them all out! Every republican sucks and should be convicted for treason!

    November 4, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. Vic of New York

    Hey Dana Perino,

    You sure are good. When this is over, you may want to become Sarah Palin's press secretary. She will certainly be able to use some of that great – if implausable – spin you are able to toss out.

    Just to annotate some differences from your "official" Whitehouse perspective: In my book the reason George Jr. is so unpopular is not because of the bailout – but because of the hole he put us in in the first place! I won't even go into that brain fart of his called "Iraq". I also won't trouble you with any of the details of the conservative ideology that brok evirtually every law in the Constitution.

    Good luck in your new life, or whatever.

    Vic of New York

    November 4, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. jane in Columbus,ks

    I believe that the entire moderate wing of the GOP is M.I.A. this time around. They have allowed the entire party to be hijacked by the wing nuts and I truly believe they will need to rise up and revolt to get it back.When even that architect Rove is predicting an Obama landslide he too must agree with me. Never thought I would see that day.

    November 4, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. ednadavid

    When he looks in the mirror – does his conscience bother him? What does he see – Abu Gharib, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq War, Deregulation, recession, Depression??? Tomorrow a new day will dawn in America – Change would have come!!

    November 4, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  25. dd1216

    hope bush will campaign for
    joe the plumber for president in 2016

    November 4, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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