Former President George Herbert Walker Bush, left, congratulates his son, then current US President George W. Bush during the final session of the Republican National Convention in New York, Sept. 2, 2004.
Photo by Mike Mergen/Bloomberg/Getty

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush stay clear of GOP race

In an unprecedented move, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush will refrain this election season from commenting on the new presumptive GOP nominee – Donald Trump. 

In the past five election cycles, George H.W. Bush has enthusiastically endorsed the Republican presidential nominee. However, spokesman Jim McGrath confirmed to NBC News that the senior Bush will not endorse Trump. “At age 91, President Bush is retired from politics,” McGrath wrote in an email Wednesday to The Texas Tribune. “He came out of retirement to do a few things for Jeb, but those were the exceptions that proved the rule.” 

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George W. Bush will also stay out of politics this year and “does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign,” his personal aide, Freddy Ford, told The Texas Tribune.

Trump has become the presumptive Republican nominee after his remaining opponents Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich  dropped out of the race this week. When the former presidents’ brother, Jeb Bush, ran for the GOP nomination this year, Trump said in February that Bush 43’s administration failed to prevent the 9/11 attacks and lied to get the U.S. involved in the Iraq War, causing former Vice President Dick Cheney to call Trump a “liberal Democrat” on Fox New’s “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Jeb Bush dropped out of the GOP race shortly after Trump’s comments that month.