Remembering George H.W. Bush

4:26 p.m. ET, December 1, 2018

George H.W. Bush believed politics didn't ever need to be 'nasty'

Former President George H.W. Bush believed that politics doesn’t ever need to be “nasty,” according to Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell.

Powell told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Bush “lived” by his quote about his unlikely friendship with Bill Clinton.

“Because you run against each other, that doesn’t mean you’re enemies. Politics doesn't have to be uncivil and nasty.”

“I wish we could get some of that back in our system now,” Powell said.

Powell served for four years as Bush’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during his presidency. “He was a great president, and he was a perfect American,” Powell said.

Powell told CNN about his interactions with Bush during the Gulf War and the end of the Cold War.

“He cared about every single soldier, sailor, airman and Marine we sent over there,” he said.

Powell said Bush, who served in World War II, would listen closely to him and his advisers before making a decision about any actions that could result in American casualties.

“I think he was a great commander in chief,” Powell said. “And his military experience, of course, had a lot to do with that as well. He knew what combat was all about. He knew that this was not a game. It was a war, and we had to do it well, we had to do it right.”

Powell also spoke about a moment he said he’ll never forget, soon after Bush lost his bid for presidency to Bill Clinton in 1992.

After Powell and his family were invited to Camp David after the election, he and Bush took a walk where the former president confessed to Powell that it “hurt” to be defeated. “He hated losing,” Powell said.

But Powell reiterated that Bush never wavered in his commitment to his country.

“The service he gave to America will not be matched any time soon. And the experience he brought to the office will never be matched any time soon,” Powell said.

“America mourns for an American who gave it his very, very all."

11:59 a.m. ET, December 1, 2018

The code word used to share news of 41's death

When family and friends were notified of former President George H.W. Bush’s death late Friday evening, the code word “CAVU” was used, an acronym familiar to pilots that he lived his life by.

CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel revealed this word on “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” early Saturday, explaining that it stands for “ceiling and visibility unlimited.”

Gangel said Bush had a plaque in his office with the word. “He always felt it represented his life,” said Gangel. “The sky was the limit, and he had everything.”

Watch below: The code word used to share news of 41's death

In a 2006 interview with CNN’s Larry King on “Larry King Live,” the late President Bush read part of a letter he wrote his five children before the start of the Gulf War, in which he discusses the phrase.

“CAVU was the kind of weather we navy pilots wanted when we were to fly off our carrier in the Pacific. We had little navigational instrumentation so we wanted to CAVU, ceiling and visibility unlimited,” said Bush, “and because of the five of you whose hugs I can still feel, whose own lives made me so proud, I can confidently tell my guardian angel that my life is CAVU and it will be that way until I die. All because of you.”

10:48 a.m. ET, December 1, 2018

The last time we saw President Bush in public

One of the last public outings former President George H. W. Bush made was to cast an early vote in the 2018 midterm elections.

Bush was pictured voting at a Houston polling station with a little help from his friends – James Baker, his former secretary of state and chief of staff, and Sully, his yellow Labrador service dog. 

“The 41st President accompanied by his two best friends -- Jim Baker and Sully -- discharging his civic duty and voting today,” Bush’s spokesman Jim McGrath wrote on Twitter on November 1st.

10:06 a.m. ET, December 1, 2018

White House says Trump will attend George H.W. Bush's funeral in DC

Press secretary Sarah Sanders says President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will attend the funeral in Washington, DC.

The President and First Lady were notified late last night of President George H.W. Bush’s passing. President Trump is scheduled to speak with President George W. Bush this morning and offer his condolences on behalf of himself, the First Lady, and the entire country. A state funeral is being arranged with all of the accompanying support and honors. The President will designate Wednesday, December 5th as a National Day Of Mourning. He and the First Lady will attend the funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.”
10:50 a.m. ET, December 1, 2018

George H.W. Bush dies at 94

The 41st President of the United States and patriarch of a political dynasty, George H.W. Bush died on Friday in Houston. He was 94 years old. Friends, world leaders and fellow politicians are now paying tribute to the man remembered as a World War II combat pilot, a Cold War politician, and a compassionate family man.