The two U.S. presidents named Bush both came to La Crosse while they were in the White House. The older Bush, number 41, spent Halloween night of 1992 at the old Holiday Inn on the pike. After being interviewed live on CNN from the former J.C. Penney building downtown, Bush flew from the La Crosse airport on Air Force One…just two days before the election.
His son, George W. Bush, made three visits to La Crosse County during his two terms as president. Once in 2002, speaking at Logan High School. Two years later, during the re-election campaign, Bush 43 held an outdoor rally at the Loggers baseball field, and returned later in the year for an Omni Center speech in Onalaska. His two daughters, Jenna and Barbara, campaigned in downtown La Crosse the day before the 2004 election. And the patriarch of the Bush family, Senator Prescott Bush, even spent an afternoon at the La Crosse airport in 1960. The senator was part of a Republican Party “truth squad” following Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy around the country.
The Clintons and the Gores made stops in Prairie du Chien and La Crosse during a bus trip through the Midwest in the summer of 1992. During the 2000 campaign, Al Gore’s first trip after winning the nomination in Los Angeles was a visit to La Crosse for a riverfront rally.
Barack Obama has been to La Crosse twice…in 2008, outside the La Crosse Center, and in 2015 at UW-L. Donald Trump has spoken inside the La Crosse Center, and months later, stayed a night at the Charmant Hotel. Presidential travels, yesterday in La Crosse.