WASHINGTON (AFP) - President George W Bush Saturday urged Americans to vote Tuesday to choose his successor, with an apparent lack of bitterness over an election in which even his own party has repudiated him. In the waning days of his eight years in office, the deeply unpopular president eulogised voting as "one of the great privileges of American citizenship," in his last weekly radio address before the next president is chosen. "This Tuesday is election day. After months of spirited debate and vigorous campaigning, the time has come for Americans to make important decisions about our nation's future. I encourage all Americans to go to the polls and vote," he said. Americans on Nov 4 will choose their 44th president, a new House of Representatives, about a third of the Senate and several new governors, amid deep concern about the economy and uncertainty over wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more generally over the direction the country is taking. Both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama have promised a sharp departure from the Bush presidency if they win the keys to the White House. Obama had lambasted his Republican rival by saying a McCain presidency would be four more years of Bush policies. And McCain would have liked to renounce Bush completely. "We just let things get completely out of hand," the Arizona senator said of his Republican party with Bush at the helm, in recent comments to The Washington Times. On the crucial final weekend of the race, Bush is not out on the campaign trail trying to turn out votes for Republican candidates, but is holed away at the presidential retreat of Camp David in the mountains of Maryland. Thursday, First Lady Laura Bush campaigned in Mississippi for Roger Wicker, a Republican seeking reelection to the Senate. Monday, she was scheduled to be in Kentucky. Celebrated among Republicans in the past for his success in motivating donors, Bush was once sought after to headline fundraising events, but has cut back on such activities in 2008 and has not participated in one in almost two weeks. Even Vice President Dick Cheney, perhaps the most polarizing figure of the administration, had a fundraiser on his schedule Saturday. Bush is too busy with the financial crisis, two wars and organizing a presidential transition, the White House said. "The truth is we're also trying to stay out of the public limelight during this period of the election season," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. "There are two individuals out there running to be President of the United States, and we don't want to complicate that for them." McCain, who has appeared only three times with Bush during the course of his presidential campaign, would certainly agree. But Fratto insists there is no bitterness between the two men who fought an ugly battle for the Republican nomination in 2000. Nor is Bush offended by the blatant repudiation of him by the 2008 Republican White House ticket. "I don't believe the president takes it personally," Fratto said.   "He's been in politics his entire life, he's been around it his entire life, and he knows that it's a rough-and-tumble business. And so he's not the least surprised by it, I can tell you." Bush knows, for example, that "any president will have a bulls-eye on his back," Fratto said. The Bushes cast Texas absentee ballots for McCain on October 24.  Tuesday evening, they plan to be at the White House watching the election results come in. And Bush, the renowned idealist, can draw some comfort from the display of American democracy at work Tuesday, in an election forecast to draw record turnout. "Every ballot they cast is a reminder that our founding principles are alive and well," he said in his radio address. "Americans should also remember the important example that our elections set throughout the world."