George W. Bush not attending Republican National Convention


Former US President George W. Bush speaks during an event celebrating the successes of dissidents and activists from around the world, hosted by the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Washington, DC, May 15, 2012.



Former President George W. Bush will not be attending the Republican National Convention next month, according to Politico.

"President Bush was grateful for the invitation to the Republican National Convention," wrote Bush spokesman Freddy Ford in an e-mail, according to Politico. "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."

The New York Times noted that Bush skipped physically attending the Republican convention four years ago, only appearing via a video feed and "becoming the first president in a generation to miss his party’s nominating ceremony."

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According to The Times, most modern presidents have attended their party's nominating conventions after leaving office from from Ford and Reagan to Clinton and George H.W. Bush. The only exceptions were Lyndon B. Johnson and Nixon.

CNN noted that the former president has stayed away from politics since leaving office. In an interview earlier this week with the Hoover Institute, Bush said, "Eight years was awesome, and I was famous and I was powerful. But I have no desire for fame and power anymore."

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The Associated Press noted that Bush's presence at the convention could do more harm than good for Republican presidential candidate Romney, as a recent CBS News/New York Times poll found that more voters thought Bush deserved a bulk of the blame for America's economic downturn as compared to Obama.

Nearly two-thirds of those polled thought that Romney's economic policies would mirror Bush's policies.

During the same interview with the Hoover Institute, Bush said, "I'm interested in politics. I'm a supporter of Mitt Romney. I hope he does well. But he can do well without me."