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