SPOTLIGHT

How Bush is Helping Republicans

Former President George W. Bush speaks at the dedication ceremony for the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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Kyle Trygstad
Oct. 12, 2016, 9:20 a.m.

His cous­in Billy has played a big­ger part in the race for the White House, but George W. Bush is quietly tak­ing an act­ive role help­ing Re­pub­lic­ans save the Sen­ate.

Bush, who has not en­dorsed Don­ald Trump and de­clined to at­tend the Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Con­ven­tion, head­lined two fun­draisers Tues­day in North Car­o­lina for Sen. Richard Burr, a second-term in­cum­bent who won John Ed­wards’s Sen­ate seat in 2004 when Ed­wards was the vice pres­id­en­tial chal­lenger to Bush.

Burr be­came the eighth sen­at­or or open-seat Sen­ate can­did­ate for whom Bush has raised money, join­ing Sens. Rob Port­man of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, John Mc­Cain of Ari­zona, Ron John­son of Wis­con­sin, and Roy Blunt of Mis­souri, as well as Reps. Todd Young of In­di­ana and Joe Heck of Nevada.

There is at least one more sen­at­or set to re­ceive a fun­drais­ing vis­it from the former pres­id­ent this month: Marco Ru­bio of Flor­ida, who ran against Bush’s broth­er, former Flor­ida Gov. Jeb Bush, in the pres­id­en­tial primar­ies. Along with ap­pear­ing at fun­draisers, Bush has also per­son­ally donated money to Port­man, Mc­Cain, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hamp­shire.

Bush is do­ing all he can to help keep the Sen­ate ma­jor­ity in GOP hands, while Trump’s dip­ping poll num­bers and de­clar­a­tion of war against “dis­loy­al” Re­pub­lic­ans could be what tips the scale in Demo­crats’ fa­vor.

Kyle Tryg­stad

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