Fleischer: Bush is a liability for conservatives.

Bloomberg writes, “There is an invisible man in the 2008 election: the president of the United States. Republican candidates have all but shunned him, save those who need him to help raise money.” Even former Bush spokesman, Ari Fleischer, admitted that the President’s presence would “hurt the party and hurt John McCain.” Some examples of Republican candidates’ reactions to Bush:

bush443.jpg — “[T]here’s nothing in the works with Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi. ‘Senator Wicker is running his own race,’ campaign spokesman Ryan Annison said.”

— “There are lots of places he’s not likely to go, like the Hampton Roads region in southeast Virginia. ‘We haven’t even discussed it,’ said Corry Bliss, campaign manager for Virginia U.S. Representative Thelma Drake, when asked about a Bush visit. ‘This campaign is about next year and the future.‘”

— “Asked whether the nominee would be appearing with President Bush this fall, McCain’s campaign chief Rick Davis gave an emphatic no, saying ‘we’ve turned that page.'”