[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/11/02/bush.absent/art.bush.gi.jpg caption="President Bush has been absent from the campaign trail in the final days."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In the waning days of the election season, as both parties campaign fervently for their candidates, one man has been notably absent - President George W. Bush.
Reporters began asking questions immediately after the White House schedule last week noted Bush had no public events Friday through Monday, and would spend most of his time at Camp David.
Watch: President Bush in 'hiding'
"The president is pretty focused on the activities that we have here, especially getting this economy back in order," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday.
"We canceled a lot of our fundraisers, and he's going to focus on being with Mrs. Bush and others this weekend at Camp David."
But Perino couldn't list any fundraisers that had been canceled recently.
Friday, Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto offered a more detailed explanation.
"The truth is we're also trying to stay out of the public limelight during this period of the election season," said Fratto. "There are two individuals out there running to be president of the United States, and we don't want to complicate that for them."
Political experts acknowledge the reality that a lame-duck president with record low approval ratings - 28 percent according to the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll - is a political liability for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.