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George H.W. Bush pays tribute to 'loyal' friend, ex-political adviser Roger Ailes

by Eun Kyung Kim / / Source: TODAY

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Former President George H.W. Bush paid tribute to Roger Ailes in a tweet Thursday that credited the Fox News founder for helping him win the White House in 1988.

“He wasn't perfect, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him,” the 41st president said in a tweet shortly after news broke Thursday about Ailes’ death. “Not sure I would have been President w/o his great talent, loyal help. RIP.”

Ailes, who died at age 77, made recent headlines because of a series of sexual harassment allegations that ultimately lead to his ouster.

But the former network chairman first rose to power in Republican circles as a political operative to candidates including Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

George H.W. Bush and Roger Ailes at the 1988 Republican convention.
Then-Vice President George H.W. Bush gets some advice from his media advisor, Roger Ailes, during the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans. Ron Edmonds / AP

Ailes served as an adviser to Bush, now 92, during his presidential run in 1988.

Ailes was at the helm of Bush's media operation when it ran a provocative ad that painted Bush’s Democratic opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, as soft on crime.

The ad was considered a turning point in political advertising and credited with helping seal Bush's election night victory.

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