Tales from the Trail

Bush working the campaign ropeline draws to an end

October 23, 2008

WASHINGTON – George W. Bush has worked his last campaign ropeline as president.

Bush, with historically low job approval ratings, made only an occasional public appearance on the trail this year, preferring to build support and raise campaign cash behind closed doors for Republican presidential hopeful John McCain and congressional candidates.

Bush also had to cancel or send stand-ins for a few private fundraisers while he stayed in Washington to work the telephones and lobby for the financial bailout legislation that passed earlier this month. His last fundraiser was on Tuesday for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“The president remains focused on addressing the needs of our economy,” said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel. “We don’t expect to schedule any more fundraisers and don’t anticipate political rallies over the next two weeks.”

McCain has distanced himself from Bush, limiting his appearances to a public gathering at the White House after he stitched up the Republican nomination and again briefly at the Phoenix airport after the two attended a closed-door fundraiser.

In an interview with the Washington Times published on Wednesday, McCain ripped into Bush, leveling criticism for presiding over an explosion in debt, not paying for an expansion of Medicare and abusing executive powers. “We just let things get completely out of hand,” he said.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino defended Bush’s policies and reiterated the president’s backing for McCain. “He supports John McCain, and he still believes that he can and should win,” she said.

The White House has not yet revealed where Bush will cast his vote, whether in person in Texas, by absentee ballot or by early voting which his home state allows. In the 2002, 2004 and 2006 federal elections, Bush voted in person in Crawford.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

- Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Bush and McCain at the Phoenix airport in May)

Comments
2 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

The fact that Bush believes McCain should win should be warning enough to every American to vote for Obama instead. McCain’s and Bush’s deregulating ways are leading us into the biggest economic downturn since the early 1930s. Way to go, Bush and McSame! You guys shouldn’t be trusted to run a lemonade stand, never mind the country.

Posted by DaveSEMass | Report as abusive
 

Why shouldn’t Bush support McCain – they may differ on some issues, but they’ve known each other for a long time and President Bush is a decent man. Some of you critics of Bush may regret much if Obama wins. The problem with many in this country is they do not understand other cultures especially in the Middle East. Sadly, again, if Obama wins you may find out. DavidseMass – you say we should not vote for McCain because of Bush – well dear man how about the Middle Eastern people pushing for Obama. That ought to scare the you know what out of us. You have everyone from Chavez in Venezuela to Iran, Palestinians in the Middle East. Then there is the funds that come in….from where? Also, you all still blaming Bush for the economic downturn – you don’t even read enough to find out the truth! You act like Barney Frank and his cohorts are innocent – dream on. Same goes for Nancy Pelosi. The media are just beyond me….so God have mercy on our nation!

Posted by Traveler | Report as abusive
 

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