Programming note: CNN will air "41ON41," a film about President George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, based on interviews with 41 people who know him best, at 9 and 11 p.m. ET Sunday, June 15.
Washington (CNN) – With Democrats investing a lot of hope and money in Michelle Nunn’s bid to capture the open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, Republicans have turned to one of their most popular leaders to help raise money to keep it in GOP hands.
Former President George H.W. Bush wrote a fundraising letter to Republicans saying he is giving to the Senate Battleground Fund, run by the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and “I am writing today to ask you to consider doing the same.”
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“Every indicator thus far suggests the Democratic nominee in Georgia will be well-funded, and stands to benefit greatly from a relatively easy primary period and the absence of a run-off challenge. The Senate Battleground Fund will try to erase or at least minimize that clear advantage, and ensure the Republican nominee enters the general election later this summer with a strong breeze in his sails – ready to propel him to victory.”
Because no Republican captured 50% of the vote in the May 20 primary, Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue will face off in a July 22 runoff.
Bush finds himself in an unusual position as he is also being touted by the Democrat Nunn. A picture of him with his hand on Nunn’s shoulder was used in her first ad back in April as she touted “leading President Bush’s Points of Light Foundation.” She is CEO of the foundation, dedicated to promoting volunteerism.
Bush’s spokesman, Jim McGrath, has said while the former President personally likes Nunn, “we certainly did not give approval” for the ad and believes Republicans should control the Senate.
“To bring genuine, positive change to the Senate and to America, we must put Georgia in the GOP column on Election Night 2014,” Bush wrote.
“Michelle has enormous personal respect and affection for President Bush and is honored to have led his Points of Light Foundation for seven years. She believes the experience of running the organization is a model Washington can learn from that shows what can be accomplished when partisan differences are put aside and people focus on common ground,” Nunn campaign Chairman Gordon Griffin said in a statement.
The Georgia seat is open because Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss is retiring. Georgia is one of the only contests in which Democrats may have a chance to pick off a seat now in GOP hands. Republicans need to win six seats now held by Democrats to win control of the Senate.