02:21 - Source: CNN
Romney, Bush, and others to skip Trump's GOP convention

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Former President George W. Bush will campaign for Republicans in competitive Senate races this summer

Bush won't attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next month

CNN  — 

Former President George W. Bush is lending a hand to vulnerable Republicans in competitive Senate races across the country this summer.

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.

CNN has reached out to the Ayotte, Blunt, and Johnson campaigns for comment.

The 43rd president, who has said he isn’t planning to participate in the White House contest nor attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next month, is throwing his support behind candidates whose down-ballot races might be impacted by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Lorna Romero, a spokeswoman for McCain, confirmed that Bush held a fundraiser for the Arizona senator in Dallas earlier this week, adding that McCain was “honored” to have the former president’s support in his re-election race.

Portman’s campaign confirmed to CNN 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.