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Bush Offers Best Wishes for Clinton

September 3, 2004

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) _ President Bush on Friday offered former President Bill Clinton, who faces heart bypass surgery, ``best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery.″

``He is in our thoughts and prayers,″ Bush said at a campaign rally in Wisconsin.

The crowd reacted with applause and with some ``ooohs,″ apparently surprised by the news that Clinton was ill.

Later, aboard Air Force One, Bush called Clinton to express his concern for his heart problems, according to presidential spokesman Scott McClellan.

The president told Clinton that he and the first lady were praying for him and wished him a ``speedy recovery,″ McClellan said.

Bush offered his wishes while campaigning one day after accepting the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in New York. Clinton was hospitalized in New York after complaining of mild chest pain and shortness of breath.

Bush recently praised Clinton when the former president went to the White House for the unveiling of his official portrait. He lauded Clinton for his knowledge, compassion and ``the forward-looking spirit that Americans like in a president.″

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