Former President George W. Bush is going to help Republicans in competitive Senate races across the country this summer, especially ones who are losing due to Trump backlash.
Bush has attended fundraisers for Arizona Sen. John McCain and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, and will attend upcoming events for Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, according to The New York Times. Both McCain and Ayotte are facing losing their seats this November.
Bush will not be campaigning in anyway to help Donald Trump. He has said he isn’t planning to participate in the White House contest nor attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next month, and is throwing his support behind candidates whose down-ballot races might be impacted by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Portman’s campaign confirmed that the former president will attend an Ohio fundraiser in August. Portman is facing a competitive re-election in a key swing state. “The enthusiasm behind our campaign grows each day and we are excited to have President George W. Bush join us in Ohio and lend his support this summer,” Portman campaign manager Corry Bliss said.
The Ohio Democratic Party quickly criticized Portman’s “disastrous” record serving in the Bush administration. “Senator Portman is hoping that President Bush can distract from the damaging effect of Donald Trump at the top of the ticket — but all it’s going to do is remind voters of Portman’s decades-long record in Washington of pushing the interests of the wealthy and well-connected he serves at Ohio’s expense,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Daniel van Hooogstraten.