Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, will not be endorsing the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. Neither will be at the Republican National Convention in July.
“At age 91, President Bush is retired from politics,” the spokesman for George H.W. Bush, Jim McGrath, told The Texas Tribune. “He came out of retirement to do a few things for [former Florida Gov.] Jeb [Bush], but those were the exceptions that proved the rule.”
Freddy Ford, the personal aide of George W. Bush, also confirmed the former president “does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign.”
Their refusal to back the nominee for the Republican party breaks from a long-observed tradition of George H.W. Bush throwing his weight behind the GOP standard bearer in every election since his own term in the White House.
The elder Bush had endorsed former Republican Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas during the 1996 presidential election, despite having bitterly clashed with him during the GOP primary that lead to his own presidency.
He campaigned for his son, George W. Bush, in both of his presidential campaigns. Both the elder and younger Bush endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona for president even before he won the 2008 GOP nomination.
Both also endorsed former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts in the 2012 election, with the elder Bush declaring “He’s a good man, he’ll make a great president, and we just wish him well.”
Neither Bush will extend the same glowing words for businessman Donald Trump, who had blasted Jeb Bush during the GOP primary. Trump had also slammed the record of George W. Bush, accusing him of failing to protect the country from the 9/11 attacks.
“Obviously the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake,” Trump said during the Feb. 13 Republican presidential debate, according to CBS News.
“While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe and I’m proud of what he did,” Jeb Bush countered.
“The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign,” Trump cut in.
Spokesmen for both former Presidents Bush have confirmed that neither will participate in the party convention in Cleveland. They had not been present during the Republican Party Convention in 2012 either, The Hill reports.