WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush, who said in March he would find ample time to campaign for Republican White House contender John McCain, is going to spend the last weekend of the 2008 race at, well, Camp David.
Bush has record low job approval ratings due to the prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the sour economy. He will leave Friday for the U.S. presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland and will remain secluded until Sunday, according to his public schedule released late Tuesday evening.
“The president is pretty focused on the activities that we have here, especially getting this economy back in order,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. “As we’ve said for a while, the president was going to be focusing on this.”
When the economic crisis unfolded and Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast, Bush canceled plans to attend several fundraisers around the country and sometimes sent surrogates in his place, including his wife Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
And as rival White House contender Democrat Barack Obama sought to paint McCain as an extension of the current president, McCain went to great lengths to distance himself from Bush.