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

The missing (current) president

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Dartaignon

    Mature Ed... This is a sound judgment. This day needs to be about the candidates.

    November 4, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. California Gold

    Remaining MIA was the single greatest gift this President could give to candidates of his party.

    I hope he retires to his home state of Texas and does nothing more than hold bar-be-ques on his ranch. He certainly has nothing to offer like his father and past Presidents.

    November 4, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Ernie Colorado

    President Bush should hold his head high! He did a super job keeping this country safe from terrorism (8yrs).

    Good Job GW!

    Lets see how the next President performs in these turbulent times...

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

    You people are clueless

    November 4, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. gtstug

    Thank god we will soon see the last of that criminal; he should be put on trial for crimes against humanity for the suffering he has caused. I hope he answers to the Higher Authority for his crimes.

    November 4, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. CitizenAJ

    He has been missing since September 11, 2001. That is when he slowly started fading away, focusing on Iraq and nothing else. The country is in shambles, he should disappear.

    November 4, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. paul

    So the President wants to lay low for a day or so...Big deal. Today is all about McCain, who should be our next President. If you want change, move to Cuba.

    I will keep my guns, freedom and can keep the CHANGE.

    Go John and Sarah! Sportsmen are for you both.

    November 4, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Matt

    Bye bye Bush.

    Hello president Obama

    November 4, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. erin king

    2 days?? he has been missing in action for 6 months!!!! and what has he done for this countries greater good since being in office? NADA!!! I HOPE THIS COUNTRY IS SMART ENOUGH TO VOTE THE CORRECT WAY!

    November 4, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Kimberly

    EdnaDavid......well said!!!!

    Good riddens Bush!!!! Don't forget your hat and your coat...

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

    We have recently invaded the borders of Pakistan and Seria. Internationally this is accepted as a declaration of war. President Bush is acting like a terrorist himself. He is the first American president to allow torture. How can he look in the mirror and say he was true to any principals? He claimed conservative views, yet he bankrupted this country. He took away many of our freedoms with the Patriot Act. He hailed de-regulation as a conservative principal, and the greed and corruption that followed helped caused the near collapse of our finacial system. He has used the military and our good soldiers to bully his way all over the world. He let his ego rule over good judgement. Much of the world views Bush as a war criminal. I hope he is real proud of himself.

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. Bevil

    No mean spiteful comments today. He has done his job. He has kept the country free from attack. God bless him.

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. ray walsh

    How did president Bush stick to his values when he lied to the american people about why we invaded Irag that got us in this mess to begin with?

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. Sam from Ohio

    At least with Bush, we were able to make him the scapegoat for our problems. Who will we turn to next? Certainly not Obama! America needs their blacksheep!

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. crossini

    He casts a reflection!?

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. arc, Lugano CH

    If Bush wasn't the American Head of State...he would be on his way to The Hague to be indicted for Genocide and Crimes against Humanity like any other War Criminal who has served as a Head of State.

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Tony

    President Bush has tried his best. Unfortunately, he's had alot on his plate to deal with. 9-11, the War in Iraq, Katrina just to name a few. People also forget that this country was under attack on September 11th and we haven't had a attack since 9-11. Misinformed people should also know that we've had a Democratic Congress and President Bush's hands were tied.

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Susan, Ohio

    You all do Bush's job and see how YOU come out–I don't think there's anyone that could run a country as divided as this one. Obama will fail just the same if elected...

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. joe the dummer

    maybe he and McSame ol BS will move into the old folks home.

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Ryan from K.C.

    From: The Voters
    To: President Bush

    Subject: 8 Years

    As you have not maintained the state of the Country in good or even decent shape over the past eight years, we must revoke your rental agreement on the White House. Please vacate the premises immediatly, and take your flunkies with you. No further warnings will be issued. Failure to vacate the premises may result in legal action, although we are not willing to rule out other legal action at a later date either.

    Sincerely, the Voting Public.

    P.S. Good-bye, and Good Riddance.

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Rj

    Give him a BREAK! He did his best. I am proud i voted for him in 2000 and 2004. He is the greatest president since JFK. He stood against terror which Clinton failed to do (Clinton was too busy with the Cigar). He confronted with the 21st century challanges by being firm on his principal. I'll miss him. btw I voted for obama

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. joe

    Although I do agree Bush has been somewhat missing during his last term in office, he has been able to keep our country safe and the fight overseas in other peoples back yard. For that I thank him. It's easy to blame the president when things aren't good but, our congress with an 18% approval rating [which is below Mr Bush's] has been asleep at the wheel too. The problem I see confronting us is that we will still have the same DOA congress tomorrow when we wake up. Need to throw them out and start over with leaders not slick talking thieves.

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Right Wing

    Barbara – He didn't get us into this mess. The democratic congress and the sub-prime banks lending money to every wanna-be homeowner did!

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Kevin - New York

    Better Bush does nothing – everything else he's done so far has been bad for the entire country.

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  25. Adam Smith TX, USA


    OBAMA/BIDEN 08/12

    08 LANDSLIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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