For the First Time in 40 Years, a Complete Absence of Bushes at the GOP Convention
Not a single member of the Bush dynasty will appear at the RNC this year.
By JONATHAN KARL
July 19, 2016, 1:24 AM
• 3 min read
-- For the first time in 40 years, and only the second time since 1956, not a single member of the Bush family is taking part in the Republican National Convention.
Neither of the two former presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, nor former Florida governor and 2016 candidate Jeb Bush, are in Cleveland for the party's convention now underway. Even the rising star of the Bush political dynasty, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who first spoke at a convention at the age of 12 in 1988, is skipping.
The Bush family has played a role in nearly every Republican nominating convention since 1948, beginning with former Connecticut Sen. Prescott Bush, George H.W. Bush's father and George W. Bush's grandfather.
The last Republican convention not attended by a Bush family member occurred in 1976 when George H.W. Bush served as director of the CIA.
While the absence of the two former presidents in the family is not without precedent -- neither attended in 2012 -- the complete void of a Bush presence is unusual. In 2012, Jeb Bush and son George P. Bush represented the clan at the convention in Tampa.
The lack of any Bush representation this year also comes against the historical backdrop that four of the Republican conventions in the last 28 years have featured nominees from the Bush family. And even among the other non-Bush Republican nominees in that time frame, only one is attending: former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, the GOP's 1996 presidential nominee.
The party’s two most recent nominees, Arizona Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney, have also opted to skip this year's festivities. While Romney has flaunted his dislike from Trump, McCain is staying away from Trump’s party as he focuses on his own reelection bid.