The last Republican president, George W. Bush, has been almost invisible at this convention — until Thursday night. Almost no previous speaker had mentioned the president who immediately preceded Barack Obama. Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan even took an oblique swipe at Bush, noting in his speech Wednesday night that the country's budget and debt problems had been caused not just by Obama, but by administrations before his.
That changed Thursday night, when the former president's brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made an impromptu — and full throated — defense of his brother at the start of his speech to the delegates. Jeb Bush's speech was on education. But before he leapt in, Jeb Bush got the crowd roaring by telling the crowd of delegates "I love my brother." In a very troubled time for America, Jeb Bush said, "He kept us safe."
George W. Bush was just a few months into his presidency when terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, killing thousands of Americans. In the aftermath of those Sept. 11 attacks, then-President Bush ordered American troops first into Afghanistan to attack al-Qaida and then later into Iraq to overthrow dictator Saddam Hussein.
— Sally Buzbee
EDITOR'S NOTE — Convention Watch shows you the 2012 political conventions through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.