Bush Won’t Attack Obama at Republican Convention

By Lindsey Ellerson

Aug 29, 2008 4:08pm

ABC News’ Jennifer Duck reports: During the heated 2008 presidential race, President Bush has never attacked Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., by name, and on Friday, Press Secretary Dana Perino told reporters the president has no plans to attack the Democratic presidential nominee when he addresses the Republican National Convention on Monday.

“Do not expect the speech to define the president’s legacy.  This is not an opportunity to recap accomplishments of the past seven and a half years.  It will not serve as a farewell to the American people, and it certainly will not attack Barack Obama," Perino said.

One reporter asked "why not" and Perino replied with a laugh, "Because he’s got class.”

In May, Bush launched a sharp attack on Obama and other Democrats, suggesting they favor "appeasement" of terrorists, but the president was careful not to use Obama’s name directly while speaking to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s statehood.

"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," Bush said during a visit to Jerusalem.

"We have heard this foolish delusion before.  As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared, ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

Perino told reporters Bush didn’t stay up to watch the Democratic presidential candidate’s acceptance speech, but did catch the coverage today and congratulates Obama on his achievements.

“It speaks volumes for this country that it’s an opportunity — it’s the land of opportunity for all people,” Perino said.

Bush also had kind words for Sen. John McCain’s, R-Ariz., new running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

"Gov. Palin’s success is due to her dedication to principle and her roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic, and serves as a wonderful example of the spirit of America," Bush said in a written statement.  "By selecting a working mother with a track record of getting things done, Sen. McCain has once again demonstrated his commitment to reforming Washington."

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