GOP Raising Money Off Bush's Heart Operation

By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

(AP) Former President George W. Bush returned home on Wednesday following a heart procedure to fix a blocked artery.




The 67-year-old is "doing great" after Tuesday's successful operation to open his artery with a stent, his spokesperson Freddy Ford said. Bush spent the night at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas before leaving Wednesday morning. He will resume his regular schedule on Thursday.

Doctors found the blockage during a routine physical Monday and recommended he undergo the procedure. Bush, who has a history of staying in top physical shape, had never been diagnosed with any heart problems prior to this week.

(CBS) Hours after former President George W. Bush left the hospital on Wednesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee began collecting money for flowers and signatures for a "Get Well Soon" e-card.

"We wanted to create an outlet for Americans to show that their thoughts and prayers are with President Bush as he recovers," NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in a statement. "Everyone here is wishing him a speedy recovery."

But the donations are expected to surpass the funds necessary to send Bush a bouquet of the Texas state flower, Bluebonnets, according to the Dallas Morning News. The NRCC didn't return calls for comment on what will happen with the additional money, though it's not a stretch to surmise that they'll be used to help elect Republicans to the House of Representatives, which is the NRCC's role..

Democrats have yet to respond but they were criticized by Republicans earlier this year after the Democratic Party solicited donations following the Boston Marathon bombings.

Bush was in a Dallas hospital Tuesday for a heart procedure to clear a blocked artery. Doctors found the problem during a routine physical on Monday. He was discharged and returned home Wednesday morning.

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