Since he left the White House early in 2009, George W. Bush hasn’t done much politics.
That’s now changing as the former president hits the road on behalf of vulnerable Senate Republicans, including Missouri’s Roy Blunt.
Among other senators that Bush has helped are Arizona’s John McCain, who was Bush’s bitter rival in the 2000 presidential race, and New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte.
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Bush’s motive appears pretty straightforward: preserving the Senate, which will provide a “check and balance” on the White House, The Times said. At the event for McCain, Bush reportedly suggested that such a check was needed, whether the next president is Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Tensions between the Bush family and Trump are well-known in the wake of Trump’s rough treatment of Jeb Bush in this year’s primaries.
“I’m pleased he is coming,” Blunt said in a brief interview this week with The Times. “He hasn’t given a political speech since he left, so I am interested to hear what he has to say. In Missouri he is still very popular, as he is more and more all over the country.”
Blunt has deep ties with the Bush family and was known as a Bush ally when Blunt served in House leadership during the early years of Bush’s presidency.
Blunt is expected to face Democrat Jason Kander, the Missouri secretary of state, in November.