Bush 41 to Miss GOP Convention, Spokesperson Says

A staple at Republican National Conventions, former President George H.W. Bush, will skip the event this year.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath told The Hill website the news Monday.

"President and Mrs. Bush are more convinced today than ever that we need to get behind Mitt and Ann Romney to help turn this country around, but sadly the situation around President Bush's mobility will prevent them from attending the Tampa convention,” McGrath said.

The 88-year-old suffers from vascular parkinsonism and has had increasing troubles walking in recent years.

Bush was nominated as Ronald Reagan's vice presidential choice at the 1980 RNC and has not missed one since. He was first or second on the GOP ticket in 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992. His son, George W. Bush, was the presidential nominee at the 2000 and 2004 editions.

The Hill notes it is unclear whether the younger President Bush will attend this year's convention next month in Tampa, Florida. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will attend, his spokesperson told the website. Both brothers and their father have voiced support for Governor Romney.

As usual, the elder Bush is spending his summer at the family property in Kennebunkport, Maine. An interview with him and former First Lady Barbara Bush appeared in Parade Magazine Sunday.

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