Campaign

George W. Bush to hit fundraising circuit for GOP candidates

Former President George W. Bush is set to headline several fundraisers for GOP candidates in the coming days across Florida and Texas.

Bush will make stops in Tampa and Palm Beach, Fla., on Friday to fundraise for Republican Senate nominee Gov. Rick Scott (R) in his bid to unseat Sen. Bill Nelson (D), The Palm Beach Post reports.

Scott's fundraiser in Palm Beach, billed as a $1,000 to $25,000-per-person private event at an undisclosed location, will jointly benefit Scott's campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

"Gov. Scott is glad to accept the support of President Bush, Vice President Pence, and anyone who shares his views that we need to reform Washington. The governor appreciated the president endorsing his race when he came to Tampa in July," Scott campaign spokesman Chris Hartline told the newspaper.

The former president is also slated to appear at a closed-door event on Wednesday morning in Fort Worth, Texas, for GOP Rep. Will Hurd (Texas), Politico reports.

Next week, Bush will host a fundraiser in Fort Worth for North Dakota GOP Senate hopeful Rep. Kevin Cramer and another in Dallas for Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), according to Politico.

A spokesman for Bush's office told the newspaper that the former president is hoping to help his party maintain its majority in the Senate while campaigning for vulnerable House Republicans.

"While he prefers to consider himself retired from politics, President Bush recognizes how important it is to keep the Senate and decided to help a few key candidates," said spokesman Freddy Ford.

Bush has largely remained out of the public eye since leaving office, but in July issued a rare condemnation of hard-line rhetoric aimed at immigrants amid the Trump administration's family separation crisis.

"I think it doesn't recognize the valuable contributions that immigrants make to our society," Bush said in July. "And it obscures the fact - the rhetoric does - that the system is broken and needs to be fixed." 

Politico reports that the former president will be back on the campaign trail next month at yet-to-be-announced fundraisers for two more GOP Senate hopefuls: Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and Indiana's Mike Braun, who are challenging Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.), respectively.

The races, along with Scott's and Cramer's, are some of the most closely watched in the country as Republicans push to defend their 51-49 seat majority in the Senate.

A string of polls has shown Democrats with an advantage on a generic ballot ahead of the November midterm elections. Democrats are hoping to net at least 23 seats to win back control of the House.

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