Former President George H.W. Bush, who was hospitalized in Houston on Tuesday because of shortness of breath, received visitors on Christmas Day at the hospital and will remain there Thursday evening, according to a statement from his spokesman.

"President Bush had another terrific day and is in great spirits," spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement Thursday. "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." 

The 41st president, 90, has had health problems in recent years, and was hospitalized for nearly two months in late 2012 and early 2013 for conditions including bronchitis.

On Tuesday, Bush was taken by ambulance to Houston Methodist Hospital.

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"He asked that his sincere wishes for a very Merry Christmas be extended to one and all," the statement said.

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