Bush Takes Monthlong Texas Vacation

ByABC News
August 3, 2001, 1:48 PM

W A S H I N G T O N, Aug. 3 -- For the next 30 days, it will be home on the ranch for President Bush.

With his administration 6 months old, Bush is set to shed the confines of the White House and head to his sprawling ranch in Crawford, Texas, to begin a monthlong, outside-the-Beltway retreat.

"I'm headed home to the heartland to listen to the American people and to talk about the values that unite and sustain our country," Bush said in a Rose Garden speech this afternoon.

'A Little Fishing, A Little Policy'

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters the chief executive was also looking forward to "enjoying a little down time, a little running and a little cedar clearing."

"He'll do a little fishing on the ranch, I'm sure he'll have friends and family over to the ranch, he'll do a little policy, he'll keep up with events," Fleischer added.

Why is the commander in chief spending four weeks in a small central Texas town outside Waco?

"I think it is so important for a president to spend some time away from Washington," he told the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree last week.

Since taking office 196 days ago, Bush has spent plenty of leisurely days away from Washington, including 23 at his Crawford ranch, 36 at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland and a four-day weekend at his family's compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater says Bush showed the same affection for vacations when he was governor of Texas.

George Bush was religious about wanting to take time off," said Slater.

Former President Ronald Reagan, who made frequent visits to his ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif., while in office, said the commander in chief never really goes off the clock, no matter where he is.

"Presidents don't get vacations they just get a change of scenery," he said in 1985. "You're still president The job goes with you."

Bush expressed similar sentiments as he vacationed in Kennebunkport in July.