Former President George W. Bush is not going to hit the campaign trail on behalf of Republican candidates before the midterm elections this fall.
"He's not interested," National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions told reporters today, according to Politico. Sessions said the former president has maintained from the day he left office that he would not get involved with Congressional races or do fundraisers for GOP candidates.
Sessions has taken heat from Democrats for saying Sunday "we need to go back to the exact same agenda" as in the Bush years, though the NRCC insists his remarks were misrepresented.
Even if Mr. Bush were interested in campaigning for Republican candidates, they might not take him up on the offer. CBS News polling in January of last year found that Mr. Bush left office with a 22 percent approval rating, making him one of the most unpopular departing presidents in history.
President Obama and other Democrats have argued that part of the reason voters should not support Republicans in the fall is that the GOP showed itself to be incompetent in the Bush years.
At a fundraiser last month, the president said Republicans "drove the car into the ditch" and now "want the keys back."
"No. You can't drive," he continued. "We don't want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out."