George W. Bush to skip GOP convention in Tampa

4:36 PM, Jul 20, 2012   |    comments
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Former president George W. Bush will not attend the GOP convention next month.

A spokesman for the 43rd president, who has largely stayed out of politics since leaving the White House, said he has declined an invitation to attend.

"President Bush was grateful for the invitation to the Republican National Convention," said Bush communication director Freddy Ford. "He supports Gov. 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."

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, will also be missing when Republicans gather at the Tampa Bay Times Forum next month to formally nominate Romney. The elder Bush suffers from vascular Parkinsonism, which affects his mobility.

Several members of the Bush family, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush, have endorsed Romney.

Ex-presidents are typically invited to speak at their party's political conventions. The younger Bush has largely stayed away from political events and pronouncements and has avoided criticizing President Obama.

Politico was the first to report that the younger Bush will not be in Tampa. The GOP convention runs Aug. 27-30.


By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

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