George W. Bush has started to campaign for his younger brother Jeb’s presidential nomination bid.
The former president met veterans and appeared at a rally in South Carolina on February 15, ahead of the primary election on February 20.
George W. Bush’s legacy has come under fierce attack from Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
Jeb Bush is struggling to catch up with Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who won the New Hampshire and Iowa contests respectively.
His famous family has largely kept out of his presidential nomination battle and he insisted last year that he was running as his own man.
However, last week his mother Barbara Bush, wife of former President George H.W. Bush, spoke out in his support.
During February 13 Republican debate, Jeb Bush defended his brother’s presidency, saying he had built a “security apparatus to keep us safe”.
Donald Trump tore into George W. Bush’s record, accusing him of lying about the reasons for the Iraq War, which he said had destabilized the Middle East.
Experts say that Donald Trump’s tactic of attacking the former president is risky because he still maintains wide appeal among Republicans in South Carolina, from churchgoers to business leaders and retired military personnel.
On February 15, George W. Bush, alongside his wife Laura, met US military veterans at an American Legion Post in Columbia, South Carolina.
Last week, he praised his brother’s abilities in a radio advert, and Jeb Bush will hope his personal appearance will bring dividends on polling day.
Although George W. Bush remains a divisive figure nationally, he and his father both won primary elections in South Carolina.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who quit the presidential race and is now backing Jeb Bush, said: “The Bush name is golden in my state.”
While Republican voters in South Carolina make their choice for president, the Democratic Party is holding its own contest in Nevada on February 20. Republicans in Nevada and Democrats in South Carolina get to express their views in separate contests the following week.