November 4th, 2008
10:56 AM ET
6 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. Joe

    What a bunch of bull crap! Can he REALLY look in the mirror and say he's stayed true to his values with the blood of over 4000 soldiers on his hands? Fighting a war that SHOULD HAVE ended years ago? What a load of garbage! He is a disgrace to the American people! 1-20-09 OUR DAY OF FREEDOM!!!

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. james

    He should be tried for treason, right along side Cheney, Rumsfield, Rove,et al. What a disgrace he is, as well as all of you who voted for him the last two elections. A more "Anti-American" bunch I've never seen.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. ET from OMAHA

    That's what you get when you still an election and put under-educated people in the white house.
    I am glad Obama is well educated than McBush.
    I made my choice for president based on the level of education of each candidate. Period.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. J, Los Angeles

    Yeah! I cant wait to be done with these last eight years! Go Obama!! It felt so good to stand in line for an hour to vote for a man I really believe in!!

    OBAMA 08!!!!

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Tired of the Lies

    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.

    That's spin for: McCain's and Bush's views overlap 92% of the time and we know that's a liability, so we're trying to hide the president in hopes that voters will forget how bad Bush has done when they vote today. ;)

    Sorry RNC, but we we'll never forget! McCain had an entire campaign to describe how his administration would be different. Instead, he simply echoed Bush's views on the economy and foreign policy. Just say "no" to four more years!

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Doris

    I think President Bush is lying low because of the negativity the Democrats have placed against John McCain because of President Bush – something I think is unfair and in earlier times, this would be considered treason. I think the Democrats played an unfair card in judging McCain as Bush and the press not giving McCain the same amount of coverage as Obama – we have two parties but the media seems to think we have one.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. AZrebel

    If only we could be sure that Bush and Cheney will stay in hiding until Jan. 21! But they still have time to do a lot of damage to our country and its future.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. Todd

    Calm down people. In case you have forgotten or maybe you didn't know it in the first place. Congress makes the decisions in this country and the Democrats have been the majority for the last two years. Quit playing the blame game. Neither the Republicans or the Democrats are to blame in whole for what's happening in the world. Least of all President Bush. He is just the fall guy because no one in this country seems to know how law is decided. You all sound like you have been on an episode of Jay Walking on the Tonight Show.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Darren

    Great Pic of the two clones together.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Mike-Perdido Key,FL

    I wonder,since Sarah Palin asked Ted Stevens to step down,whether she cast her ballot for Senator for her opponent,invalidated her ballot by not selecting anyone,or voted for a convicted felon! Anyone want to hazard a guess. I'd like the press to ask her this question.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Texan for Obama

    Today will will be a historical day for Americans. Even Bush cannot rain on this day. Oh, there is sign-sheet for volunteers to help Bush pack his SH#T and get out the White House Nov. 5.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Duck N Cover

    I have a bad feeling about what is to come here today. Just hope that I am wrong and we do not see a VP needing to step into someones shoes due to a crazy red-neck.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. The Dutchman

    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."
    **************************************************************************
    And that was the problem with his whole Presidency...he did what he wanted, not what the majority of Americans wanted. He did not represent us, but himself and his selfish, greedy inner circle.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. EC

    Ugh. I live in Manhattan and was here for 9/11. Bush was all talk. He started a huge war for no reason and I don't feel any safer. Obama needs to fix this mess that Bush created.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. Lori

    He should have went AWOL 8 years ago! Thank God his time is almost up... now I just hope and pray that the American people will come to their senses and vote for CHANGE (Obama) and not 4 more years of the same.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. Kenny

    Please....he will look in the mirror and say Thank God its over!!!

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. GA Voter

    What happened? All the Republicans were singing praises when he was elected then re-elected- Why doesn't anyone want to stand with their great decision they made in 00' and 04' anymore? Oh yea McCains different because he "voted with Bush 90% of the time on the Economy" and he's a Maverick that stated that the 'fundamentals of the economy are strong"... Vote for change with McSame!

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  18. Tawanda

    All I can say friends is that May God have mercy on his soul in the day of Judgement because he has blood not only on his hands but on his whole body. I am sorry for the families who suffered the death of their loved ones. Stay strong! May God bless America. This is our time because we have suffered for too long. Take care!

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Republican

    But for GEORGE BUSH, we would be rotting in hell. Because of him we are safe post 9/11, dont you get it? huh?

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Scotty D

    Barbara, watch out, Cheney might "accidentally" shoot you in the face.

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    GWB has been missing for 8 years as a REAL president. His legacy is that of the WORST president EVER! The damages he and the Republicans has caused are too numerous to count!!! BYE..They WON'T be missed!!!

    Any disgruntled Republicans would be welcomed by the Democrats!

    Obama/ Biden 08/12 For real change

    November 4, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Drew

    Speaking of wingnuts...

    November 4, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Builder sent

    Bush has been the perfect president for the last 8 years. Too bad the winner of today's election is not worthy of the office Bush has to vacate.

    why does the presidency have a term limit but not Congress?

    November 4, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. Virginia Alder

    My condolences to Barack Obama and his family.
    As I see it, God just wanted his grandmother to have the best
    "sit in the house" (heaven) to watch over her grandson.

    November 4, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. liz

    Dems are angry as alwasy this morning!!

    November 4, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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