SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — Former President George W. Bush joined a group of Republican governors for a private lunch Thursday as the group of state executives gathered for an annual meeting of the Republican Governors Association.
Bush, who served as Texas governor before being elected president in 2000, was invited to lunch by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Christie officially succeeded Jindal as RGA chairman on Thursday. Jindal will continue with the organization as vice chairman. The governors-only event, held at J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician resort near Phoenix, lasted two hours, one attendee, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, confirmed.
Most of the governors who attended declined to provide specifics on their conversation with Bush. But Brewer was willing to offer journalists a read-out, albeit a thin one. “It was absolutely wonderful to have him here. … He was very upbeat and charismatic and we were thrilled and delighted,” she said. “We talked about a lot of different subjects. Certainly he has opinions.”
“He absolutely encouraged all of us,” Brewer continued, when asked if Bush offered the governors any advice on the 2014 midterm elections. “He agrees with us, I believe, that the best breeding ground for presidents are the governors.”
A smiling Bush ignored reporters questions as he left the steakhouse. He was headed to Oklahoma to deliver a speech to an unidentified group, Sooner State Gov. Mary Fallin said. “I wish I could be there with him,” she said.