George W. Bush has never been much of a traveler. Before he assumed
the Presidency, his only major forays abroad were to Mexico, Israel,
and China. He made brief visits to a scattering of other countries.
"Bush's foreign travels have been limited to three visits to Mexico,
two trips to Israel, a three-day Thanksgiving visit in Rome with one
of his daughters in 1998 and a six-week excursion to China with his
parents in 1975 when his father was the U.S. envoy to Beijing."
A quote from CNN's Walter Rodgers:
"George W. Bush had only visited Mexico, Israel and China before
becoming president, and that was never an issue."
CNN Student News: Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics
"Critics often describe Bush as 'incurious' about the world, but that
word hardly does justice to what feels almost like a principled
provincialism. Here was someone who by age 13 was mingling in the
country-club set of Houston, who then went on to Andover, Yale and
Harvard Business School -- and did so in the age of cut-rate
international air fares -- and yet he rarely traveled abroad. Bush was
in his mid-20's when his father became ambassador to the United
Nations, and still he stayed home. He must have had to resist actively
his parents' blandishments. He visited China in 1975, when his father
was U.S. liaison; Gambia, at President Bush's behest, in 1990; and the
Middle East in 1998, when he had begun thinking about his own run for
the presidency. (He also traveled to Europe several times in the 90's
with the Young Presidents' Organization, a group for corporate
People close to Bush dismiss his past as irrelevant; he has, they say,
both the experience and the character to direct the affairs of the
free world. Condoleezza Rice argues that as governor of Texas, Bush
gained a familiarity with foreign affairs from his dealings with
Mexico. 'He has on-the-ground experience there,' she says, 'which I
would say is much more valuable than if he had been attending seminars
at the Council on Foreign Relations for the last five years.' Rice
also turns the insularity argument on its head, arguing that the
president-elect 'comes at this as an American with very, very American
values.' These arguments seem reassuring mostly to Bush's own allies.
Many Europeans, for example, see the president-elect as an
[from James Traub, "The Bush Years: W.'s World," New York Times
Magazine, 14 January 2001]
Mount Holyoke College
According to Bush staffers, George W. Bush had visited these countries
before becoming President:
"George was not exactly what you would call well-traveled. Campaign
staffers claimed that he had taken 'more than a dozen' trips outside
Bush made a month-long excursion to China while his father was
stationed there, which the New York Times summed up as 'trying to date
Chinese women (unsuccessfully) during a visit to Beijing in 1975.' He
had visited Israel and Egypt with the National Governors Association,
and also the African country of Gambia. Later on in the campaign, Bush
staffers claimed that he has also visited England, Scotland, and
Italy, as well as vacationed in France and Bermuda. This was not very
impressive to the people of Europe, who have to cross international
borders just to take their kids to Legoland."
Rotten.com: George W. Bush
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