For America, the two living Republican presidents are father and son George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. And while George W. Bush, our 43rd president, will be in attendance at the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump -- our soon-to-be 45th president -- the 92-year-old George H. W. Bush will be sitting the event out.
"Barbara and I are so sorry we can't be there for your inauguration on January 20th," the elder Bush sent to Trump in a Jan. 10 letter, reports The Hill. "My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under. Same for Barbara. So I guess we're stuck in Texas. ...but we will be with you and the country in spirit. I want you to know that I wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our great country. If I can ever be of help, please let me know."
On Jan. 3, the younger Bush, who has essentially disappeared from public life since leaving office in 2001, announced that he and wife Laura Bush would attend the Jan. 20 inauguration ceremony.
We are “pleased to be able to witness the peaceful transfer of power — a hallmark of American democracy — and swearing-in of President Trump and Vice President Pence,” Bush Jr.'s statement reads.
Beyond living Republican former presidents, the two living Democratic former presidents (and the soon-to-be third) will also be in attendance. Former President Jimmy Carter (who is also 92) confirmed his attendance at the event in December. Former President Bill Clinton, along with his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, will also watch Trump as he is sworn into office.
According to The Washington Post, however, the list of Democrats boycotting the inauguration is growing. As of Jan. 18 -- two days before the inauguration -- 60 representatives have publicly stated they will not attend the swearing-in.
Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia who was attacked by the president-elect in a recent pair of tweets, noted that he will also skip the inauguration.
PolitiFact reports that Lewis told NBC's "Meet The Press" that, though he believes in forgiveness, "it's going to be very difficult." He added: "I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president."