Former President H.W. Bush sends Obama 'best wishes'

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"Barbara and I send President and Mrs. Obama — and their wonderful girls — our best wishes and prayers on this historic day," the former president said in a statement Monday afternoon. "May Almighty God bless them and our wonderful country over the next four years."

Bush did not attend Obama's second inauguration on Monday, with his aides citing his ill health.

About a week earlier the former president was discharged from Methodist Hospital in Houston where he had been receiving treatment for a persistent cough and bacterial infection. Bush had been in and out of the hospital since Thanksgiving.

According to an aide, Bush spent Monday at his home in Houston.

His son, former President George W. Bush also did not attend Monday's inauguration festivities, reportedly to spend time with his father.