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President George H.W. Bush will remain in a Houston hospital Thursday night, but his spokesman said the 90-year-old "is in great spirits."

The 41st president of the United States was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital Tuesday after suffering from shortness of breath. A spokesman said the hospital trip was just a precaution.

"President Bush had another terrific day and is in great spirits. He was visited by Mrs Bush as well as his son Neil and daughter-in-law Maria Bush, and has received well wishes from family, friends and fellow citizens," his office said in a statement Thursday. "He asked that his sincere wishes for a very Merry Christmas be extended to one and all."

Bush spent nearly two months at Houston Methodist in January 2013 for a bronchitis-related cough and other health issues. This June, he skydived to celebrate the birthday milestone.

Bush, who can no longer use his legs, most recently appeared seated in a wheelchair at an event in November at Texas A&M University with his son, former President George W. Bush.


— Phil Helsel