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George W. Bush kicks off fundraising for Republicans

Former President George W. Bush is hitting the fundraising trail for Republicans this week, as the party looks to hold the House, Bush's office confirmed to CBS News. 

Bush has generally stayed on the sidelines in the recent political environment, but Republicans need all the help they can get, with polls suggesting that Democrats could take control of the House in November. Politico first reported the former president's upcoming campaign stops. 

The ex-president's campaign tour kicked off Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas, in support of Republican Rep. Will Hurd. Hurd barely won his race in 2016, and Hillary Clinton outperformed Donald Trump in the district in 2016. 

Then, Bush will hold two events on Friday for Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is battling Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson for his Senate seat. 

Next week, Bush returns to Fort Worth, but not only to campaign for the GOP in Texas. In addition to holding a fundraiser for Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, he's fundraising for Rep. Kevin Cramer, the Republican Senate candidate in North Dakota. 

Former President Barack Obama is also hitting the campaign trail, for Democrats. He started his election season off with a speech at the University of Illinois last week, claiming the greatest threat to American democracy is not President Trump, but voters' apathy and complacency. 

"This whole project of self- government only works if everybody's doing their part," Obama said. "Don't tell me your vote doesn't matter. I've won states in the presidential election because of five, 10, 20 votes per precinct. And if you thought elections don't matter, I hope these last two years have corrected that impression."
 
"So if you don't like what's going on right now -- and you shouldn't -- do not complain. Don't hashtag. Don't get anxious. Don't retreat. Don't binge on whatever it is you're binging on. Don't lose yourself in ironic detachment. Don't put your head in the sand. Don't boo. Vote."

— CBS News' Jenna Gibson contributed to this report 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.