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Bushes Lead Republican Opposition To Trump Presidential Bid

Posted: May 5, 2016 at 7:17 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Former U.S. President George W Bush and his father, former U.S. President George H W Bush, will not be endorsing Donald Trump.

The younger Bush’s spokesman, Freddy Ford, said he does “not plan to participate in or comment on” the 2016 presidential race.

The elder Bush’s spokesman, Jim McGrath, said he was “retired from politics”.

The Bushes’ decision may be dismissed by critics as personal since Mr Trump tormented Jeb Bush during his failed White House candidacy, labelling him “low energy” and an “an embarrassment to his family”.

On the campaign trail, Mr Trump also pilloried former President George W Bush, accusing his administration of lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and calling the war “a big fat mistake”.

But even so, the lack of support for the presumptive Republican White House nominee from the party’s only two living former U.S. presidents is seen as unusual.

Both Bushes supported John McCain and Mitt Romney, the Republican nominees in the last two elections.

It underscores the uphill climb Mr Trump faces in trying to unite the party after a deeply fractious primary process.

The real estate baron effectively clinched his party’s nomination this week after the departure of his two remaining rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

Similarly Republican Senators Dean Heller of Nevada and Ben Sasse of Nebraska have said they will not vote for Mr Trump in November.

Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Rob Portman of Ohio said they will vote for Mr Trump but not endorse him.

Massachusetts’ Republican Governor Charlie Baker says he will not vote for Mr Trump.

The Hillary Clinton campaign released a video on Thursday showing former Republican candidates attacking Mr Trump.

According to the Real Clear Politics opinion polling average, Mr Trump is currently 6.5 percentage points behind Mrs Clinton, the likely Democratic presidential nominee.