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George Bush Endorses Tommy Thompson In Wisconsin Senate Race

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Former President George H.W. Bush endorsed Tommy  Thompson's bid for Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat on Oct. 28, 2012. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Former President George H.W. Bush endorsed Tommy Thompson's bid for Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat on Oct. 28, 2012. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON -- These days, the only former president who really seems to be actively campaigning for candidates is Bill Clinton. But on Sunday, former President George H.W. Bush jumped back into the arena and endorsed Tommy Thompson in his bid for Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat.

"At this point in my life, I really try to avoid politics, especially around election time. But some people are truly exceptional -- Tommy Thompson is one of them -- and I feel the need to do what I can to help," wrote Bush in a fundraising email to Thompson supporters.

"Tommy Thompson has been my friend for almost thirty years," he wrote. "His [sic] was a spectacularly successful Governor of Wisconsin for fourteen years, and a great partner in many of my reform efforts as President. He was so popular and effective that my son, President George W. Bush, tapped Tommy to serve the Nation as the Secretary of Health and Human Services...and thankfully, Tommy answered his country's call."

GOP heavyweights have been jumping in to help Thompson, the Republican nominee, in recent days, as polls show that he is lagging behind Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). Vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), in particular, has been stepping up fundraising for his cash-strapped "mentor." Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) were also recently in the state campaigning for Thompson.

In his endorsement, Bush said Thompson was always so "popular" because he pioneered welfare reform, created jobs, restrained spending, cut taxes and instituted school choice programs.

"I have had no better friend than Tommy Thompson in my many years in public life. And Wisconsin -- as well as America -- has never had a better, more reliable or honorable public servant," he wrote. "Tommy needs our help."

Clinton has endorsed Baldwin for Senate, and he was recently in Green Bay firing up Wisconsinites for both the congresswoman and President Barack Obama.

"We've got a tight race for Senate, we've got a tight race for president," Clinton said. "I feel it is imperative for the future of this school, this state and this country that we elect President Obama and Tammy Baldwin."

In March, Bush endorsed Mitt Romney for president. He also endorsed Maine GOP Senate candidate Charlie Summers on Aug. 1. But beyond that, he has been generally absent from the 2012 campaign, as has his son, former President George W. Bush.

Bush's full email:

Dear Friend,

At this point in my life, I really try to avoid politics, especially around election time.

But some people are truly exceptional -- Tommy Thompson is one of them -- and I feel the need to do what I can to help.

Tommy Thompson has been my friend for almost thirty years. His was a spectacularly successful Governor of Wisconsin for fourteen years, and a great partner in many of my reform efforts as President. He was so popular and effective that my son, President George W. Bush, tapped Tommy to serve the Nation as the Secretary of Health and Human Services . . . and thankfully, Tommy answered his country's call.

Why was Tommy always so popular? Because he has always made things happen, and got things done. Tommy Thompson pioneered welfare form . . . created jobs . . . restrained spending . . . cut taxes . . . and instituted the first school choice programs.

He was tough and innovative, but thoughtful . . . and he was always a forceful leader. He talked to and worked with everyone . . . and he still does.

Tommy used to say, "I am from Elroy, Wisconsin -- I can dial a wrong number and talk for hours!” That small town, "can do" Wisconsin approach and charm is what has made Tommy Thompson one of America's most dynamic and successful leaders. And it’s that same "can do" approach that’s needed today in Washington to get our nation going again.

I hope you’ll join me in the effort to elect Tommy Thompson as the next United States Senator from Wisconsin.

Tommy prevailed in a difficult primary in August that exhausted his campaign's finances. He is engaged in a tough and close campaign where his opponent is heavily outspending him and unfairly attacking him.

I have had no better friend than Tommy Thompson in my many years in public life. And Wisconsin -- as well as America -- has never had a better, more reliable or honorable public servant. Tommy needs our help.

America needs great leaders more than ever, and Tommy Thompson has long been one of our very best. We all need to rally around our friend and support him in his effort to help tackle our country’s complex problems as a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin.

We need a Senator Tommy Thompson, and he needs your help to make that a reality.

Please join me in supporting Tommy's campaign. There are only a few days left and your financial support will have a direct and immediate impact in putting him over the top.

If you feel, as I do, that we need bold, principled leadership in the U.S. Senate, I urge you to send a contribution to Tommy today.

Sincerely,

George H.W. Bush

P.S. You know, as I do, that good things will happen when Tommy Thompson gets down to the Senate to work for Wisconsin and America. Let’s do what we can to help him. Please send a much-needed contribution today.

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