Former President George W. Bush to skip Republican Convention
July 20th, 2012
05:22 PM ET
2 years ago

Former President George W. Bush to skip Republican Convention

Washington (CNN) - Former President George W. Bush has decided he is not going to next month's Republican Convention.

"President Bush was grateful for the invitation to the Republican National Convention. He supports Governor Romney and wants him to succeed. President Bush is confident that Mitt Romney will be a great President. But he's still enjoying his time off the political stage and respectfully declined the invitation to go to Tampa," his spokesman Freddy Ford told CNN after inquiries about his plans.

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Since leaving office in 2009, the former president has tried to stay away from partisan politics.

In an interview this week with the conservative Hoover Institute the former president said "Eight years was awesome, and I was famous and I was powerful. But I have no desire for fame and power anymore."

He also said he thought it was not good for former presidents to be part of the political conversation. "I don't want to undermine our president – whoever's president – and a former president can do that…Either you're in or out of politics…you can't be that halfway."

Bush is still an unpopular figure with many Americans. In a May 29-31 CNN/ORC Poll 43% of those polled say they had a favorable opinion of the former president while 54% said they had an unfavorable one.

Eighty-one percent of those polled in a July 11-16 CBS/New York Times survey said the former president contributed some or a lot to the nation's economic downturn (48% said a lot while 33% said some).

Last week Bush's father, former President George Herbert Walker Bush's office announced earlier this week he and his wife Barbara would not be attending the convention because his mobility is limited by a disease called vascular Parkinsonism that makes it hard for him to travel.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush will be attending the convention.

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Filed under: 2012 • George W. Bush
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Jeff in Virginia

    Years out of office and Bush still can't stop lying. Republicans can't run away from Bush's name fast enough. Makes you wonder why Romney wants to double down on Bush's fiscal policies.

    July 20, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    Smart move (maybe his first) by Duh Duh Duh-bya. He is a pariah even in his own party

    July 20, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. TheVoice

    I wonder why. This guy just came out with a book to fix the economy. Why is it he failed to implement it while in office?

    July 20, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    W is making far better choices now than he did as president. It's just too bad so many have had to pay for those bad choices.

    I have to agree with [Krystal Ball] commentator, on MSNBC when she stated something to the effect that she would rather have a beer with W than loook at Willard. So would I. I'll go even further and say I would vote for Gingrich, Santorum and Palin (yes, Palin) before the Romney's would ever get a vote from me.
    Thanks for letting the president continue to clean up your mess W.
    Obama 2012

    July 20, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. 333maxwell

    Even former President George Busk knows that Romney isn't in this thing to win it, but rather to stir up the red meat crown and empty their pockets to fatten the Golden Calf.

    I'd like assume there are other people that see this too. This Governor isn't out to win an election, he;s out to break fundraising records.

    He's running over seas to milk their cash now.. he has yet to reach out to independent's he desperately needs if he wants to win this thing.

    Heck, unlike Governor Romney, former President Bush has tried to distance himself from former Vice President Cheney and that whole money/power crowd the Governor now surrounds himself with by intent.

    July 20, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Logic N LA

    My conservative friends have all laughed at all the Dems not attending the DNC. They claim they are avoiding being connected to Obama.
    So- what can they say when a retired President- who does not have a campaign to work isn't going? Add him to the list of Reps not attnding- are they all distancing themsleves from Romney

    July 20, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. T'sah From Virginia

    That's because they did not give him a speaking role!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 20, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. YADA YADA YADA

    "But he's still enjoying his time off the political stage and respectfully declined the invitation to go to Tampa,"
    BS, look at that face in the pic. Is that the face of a man with a proud legacy in office? I doan thinks so! History has just him early and often, not how he hoped it would. He definitely has replace Jimmy Carter as the worst President ever!

    July 20, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. You People Aint Seeing Our Tax Returns

    Rmoney will be glad to send Bush on an all-expense paid vacation until after November.

    July 20, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Darryl

    I just can't find anything nice to say about G. Bush so I'll just skip this comment box for today !!

    July 20, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Dave, Central Illinois

    Funny how Bush is the blame for everything yet Obama still continues many of his policies. I guess that's because Obama doesn't have the guts to make the hard decisions Bush had to. You hateful little Libs need to think before you speak. Oh, that's what make you Libs – if you thought first, you would be conservatives...

    July 20, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Realitybites

    It just gives me chills thinking about his tenure as President.

    July 20, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. GonzoinHouston

    He might as well show up since he's going to be a major issue in the election. The dems are going to gleefully point out all the old W staffers now advising Mitt, and all the policies that Mitt has in common with W. They are going to hang W around Mitts neck like they did to McCain, and it's going to work.

    "If you liked Bush, you'll love Romney!"

    July 20, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. ge

    they can,t have the worst president,and the worse candidate at the same time

    July 20, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. Larry L

    He's quite lucky our nation doesn't "reward" him for his criminal activity. He and Cheney should be in prison for starting a war with cherry-picked intelligence, planning the war with no exit strategy, and giving sweetheart deals to Halliburton throughout the conflict. They killed over 4,500 Service Members and about 110,000 civilians. Then he left us with the worst recession in over thirty years and a nation divided by hate and bigotry. Some legacy...

    July 20, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    He does not have face after messing economy. Good for him.

    July 20, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. Amy

    Real simple: Alexithymic Mitt can't get even the GOP-ers excited about him, no matter how much money is poured into him (or wasted on him).

    July 20, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. Sunlight99

    There is a huge difference between the Democrats who are campaigning jumping ship and Bush not attending the RNC.

    Bush has nothing to lose by going but he knows that if he were to go Obama and his minions would plaster pictures of him standing next to Romney all over the place. His going would not help Romney but it would help Obama thus he is staying away. However, the Bushs are sending his more popular brother Jeb to the RNC.

    As to the Democrats not attending the DNC, they have a ton to lose by being associated with Obama and Obama would only gain by having them there. So this is really an apples and pears comparisons.

    July 20, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. Name styxx

    To t'sah

    Obama the only trusted way forward? I'm sure your kidding. Right?

    July 20, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. LiberalsRPhonies

    Liberal/Progressive PHONIES.... Look at the number of DUMMYCRATS, THAT ARE CURRENTLY IN OFFICE, That are not attending the DUMMYCRAT Convention......
    Mr. obama is the most DEVISIVE & PARTISAN man to ever serve in the office, ALL of his policies are miserable failures and DUMMYCRATS can't put enough distance between them and the obama/Convention.
    In November "The Hack" will be packing his bags and going back to Chicago......GOOD RIDDENS.

    July 20, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. A Kickin` Donkey

    On 1 hand, I want to applaud No. 43 for staying out of the political fray because I do believe that is what ex-Presidents should do. Obama got bin Laden and Bush had no business being in the limelight. Comments good or bad from the former administration are a disservice to the current. Its tough being the executive in charge and the last thing needed is yapping from someone without responsibility. Dick Cheney didn`t learn that leadership lesson. At least No 43 did.

    Regarding the GOP convention, Bush is doing what is best for the party. His name is toxic and has no UPSIDE for the GOP. Daddy Bush No. 41 also knows the brand is damaged and if Jeb is to have any chance, the nation has to get over any Bush fatigue.

    July 20, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. el flaco

    Romney is George Bush III

    July 20, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Drew

    I detest Bush and think he's the worst president of modern times. However, I think he has been a class act since he left office. I admire the way he's handling this.

    July 20, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. joesixpackjr

    Geo. W. is a man of integrity who was dealt a difficult hand as President. Every CNN story reminds us that he is unpopular, even when that has nothing to do with anything in the story. Having watched CNN and other media trash Bush at every chance (even after he left office), voters like myself are instinctively opposed to anyone who CNN supports, like the current occupant of the WH (who by the way CNN constantly reminds us has been dealt a difficult hand as president). Turn out the lights CNN, the viewers are abandoning you for a reason.

    July 20, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. amf140

    Let's see – will Jimmy Carter be at the Democratic Convention.

    Oh and by the way, compared to BHO, the Bush Presidency was OUTSTANDING and honorable. Just ask the troops and they will tell you which leader they prefer.

    July 20, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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