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By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A spokesman says former President George W. Bush is skipping the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., next month.

Bush spokesman Freddy Ford says the 43rd president is enjoying his time off the political stage and respectfully has declined the party's invitation to attend the event.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will formally be nominated at the convention.

Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush, earlier this week also declined to attend.

The two former presidents have endorsed Romney.

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