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George H.W. Bush, Barbara To Skip GOP Convention

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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) meets with Former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush at Bush's office on March 29, 2012.  (credit: Tom Pennington/GettyImages)

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) meets with Former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush at Bush’s office on March 29, 2012. (credit: Tom Pennington/GettyImages)

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HOUSTON (AP) — A spokesman says former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, will skip the Republican National Convention next month in Tampa, Fla., because of health reasons.

The spokesman, Jim McGrath, says it will be the first time since 1976, when Bush was director of the CIA and refrained from partisan activities, that he won’t attend the Republican Party gathering.

The 88-year-old Bush has a form of Parkinson’s disease that afflicts his legs. He now gets around using a wheelchair or motorized scooter.

McGrath said Tuesday that the situation surrounding Bush’s mobility will keep the couple from attending the late August convention.

Bush and his wife have endorsed Mitt Romney, the expected GOP presidential nominee.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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