CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) – President Bush and his motorcade passed the growing camp of war protesters outside his ranch Friday without incident.
As Bush passed on his way to and from a political fundraiser, law enforcement blocked two intersecting roads where the demonstrators have camped out all week. Officers required the group to stand behind yellow tape, but no one was asked to leave.
The motorcade didn’t stop.
Cindy Sheehan, the California mother who started the vigil along the road leading to Bush’s ranch, held a sign that read: “Why do you make time for donors and not for me?”
It was unclear whether Bush, riding in a black Suburban with tinted windows, saw the demonstrators.
He had said Thursday that he sympathized with Sheehan but believed it would be a mistake to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq.
Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq last year, says she wants to meet with him again _ they spoke in June 2004 _ in light of information since then discrediting the war rationale that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
More than 100 Bush supporters held a rally Friday night across the road from the makeshift campsite of anti-war demonstrators. Authorities kept the two groups separated.
On Friday, Bush arrived before noon at a neighbor’s ranch for a barbecue that was expected to raise at least $2 million for the Republican National Committee.
About 230 people were attending the fundraiser at Stan and Kathy Hickey’s Broken Spoke Ranch, a 478-acre spread next to Bush’s ranch. All have contributed at least $25,000 to the RNC, and many are “rangers,” an honorary campaign title bestowed on those who raised $200,000 or more for Bush, or “pioneers,” those who have raised $100,000 or more.
Sheehan, 48, of Vacaville, Calif., set up camp last weekend a few miles from Bush’s ranch, and the group with her has now grown to more than 100.