July 20th, 2010
06:39 PM ET
4 years ago

GOP says George W. Bush not 'on the ballot' in 2010

Democrats' continued references to George W. Bush are spurring push back from Republicans who want campaigns focused on the current administration.
Democrats' continued references to George W. Bush are spurring push back from Republicans who want campaigns focused on the current administration.

Washington (CNN) - House Republicans are pushing back on Democratic efforts to frame the 2010 midterm elections as a referendum on Republican policies adopted when George W. Bush was President, arguing the election is about the "Obama-Pelosi agenda."

"They can spin, they can sing, they can dance naked in the streets to say it's about Bush, but he's neither in the White House nor on the ballot," said Oregon Republican Greg Walden, deputy chairman of the House GOP campaign committee, talking about Democrats, Tuesday.

But while the GOP wants to focus their message on the Democratically controlled Congress, they aren't asking for any help from former President George W. Bush on the campaign trail this year.


Texas Republican Congressman Pete Sessions, who chairs the campaign committee, said he hasn't asked the former President to stump for candidates. He told reporters Tuesday that GOP candidates already "have their footing" in their races and noted that the former President has not participated in any political activities since he left office.

"He has not been involved. He does not do fundraisers. He's said to us 'I'm not interested in doing it' and that's goes back to the day he left," Sessions said.

In contrast, the White House and Congressional Democrats have already invited President Bill Clinton on the trail and are expected to draft him to visit more districts this fall. Clinton stumped for Pennsylvania Democrat Mark Critz, who won a special election in May to fill the seat of the late Rep John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania. The former President also helped out Senator Blanche Lincoln hold off a challenge from a fellow Democrat in his home state of Arkansas last month.


Filed under: 2010 • George W. Bush • GOP • President Obama
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. CheneyWatchOrg

    George W Bush is a war criminal and his shadow should hang over this country until this country gets its moral act together and prosecutes him, Cheney, and their gaggle for war crimes, violations of the constitution, and crimes against Humanity. Shadow? This country should be ashamed to want to be treated with exception while invading others. CNN should be shamed to even frame the context of this conversation this way. Bush should be in a prison.

    July 20, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Excellent response! The Democrats have got to realize the anti-Bush vote that got them in office ( erroneously since he was not on the ballot then, either ) in 2008 is spent, done and history!

    It's the anti-Obama vote they need to be focused on now.

    July 20, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. rar

    The greatest predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Look at how Republicans governed when President Bush was in office-investigation after investigation of the Clinton Administration, two wars not paid for, a prescription drug bill not paid for, tax cuts for the wealthy not paid for. And now in 2010 we're suppose to believe they will govern with "fiscal discipline" and work with Democrats??? They won't be specific on what governing with "fiscal discipline" means. You won't balance the budget by addressing "inefficiencies". And does anyone want Michelle Bachmann chairing a Congressional investigation of the Minn. Senate election that the Minn. Supreme Court already ruled on Norm Coleman's challenges. Ya-let's go back and see if a Republican Congress can find enough votes for Coleman to "win". And don't forget her call for the Press to "investigate" members of Congress who might be UnAmerican. This is the kind of Congress you're going to get with Repulicans in power. They shutdown the government before, the Republican House impeached a President only to be defeated by the Republican Senate, and spent millions and millions of taxpayer money on Travelgate, Whitewater, and Ken Starr investigation of Monica. And what was the ultimate outcome??? Bill Clinton was disbarred??? That's governing????

    July 20, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. Ron

    Ah, the Republicans love to ignore the fact but we are getting used to it. The fact is that George left us with a giant problem and it is going to take a great deal to get us out. There is the huge financial hole he left us in that was partially increased by 800 billion in tax cuts for the rich, two wars that had no plan for paying, deregulating big business, banks and wall street so they could take us all to the cleaners. Then since they have been out of the White House they have voted no on anything and everything, especially items that would help the average American. Unemployment for those that they helped put out of work, health insurance reform, education and financial reform etc. etc. Their idea of the "right direction" for the country is called "trickle down economics" which for those of you that don't know is support the rich and piss on those that aren't. We really can't afford anymore of this type of governance.

    July 20, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. wmscot

    The GOP is right Bush is not on the ballot but his failed policies of no action with the abuses of big business are and the electorate needs to rememeber that. The democratic party members that voted for these policiies need to be bounced too along with their republican counterparts !!!!!!

    July 20, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Angie in Denver

    We should be asking the GOP, what do you plan to do differently from Bush. The GOP is just about the same thing so it doesn't matter who is the party leader. A vote for GOP is just another kick in the throat to the middle class hard working Americans.

    July 20, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. Mark Ferbet, KCMO

    This election is about Bush Policies though. Obama has only been in office 19 months. His policies, and the Bills passed into Law, are barely taking affect. No, the truth is, the Republican Party has spent the last 19 months spinning it's wheels... they haven't supported any legislation that Obama has put forth, hoping for political points, they haven't produced any legislation of their own as the Minority party, yet spend every moment talking about how Obama's policies will bankrupt America, hoping Americans will forget that from 1994 to 2006 the Republican Party had complete control of Congress, and led our economy into the Recession we are in now. Bush's Tax Cuts have never been paid for, nor do they have a way to pay for them... they have Nothing to run on. Except for the infighting within the Party itself... the Republican Party has done nothing.... NOTHING... to earn their pay since 2006.

    July 20, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. What we really want to see.....

    is a poll of Hillary vs. Obama for the 2012 primary. The question is: Does CNN have the guts to do this?

    July 20, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  9. George of the jungle

    even the repos don't want to be associated with him . The tea party will do them all in come Nov. The party of No is going Nowhere

    July 20, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. Angi's mom

    The American people won't forget or forgive Bush's 8 messy years. So sad that Bush didn't leave much for America to be proud of that the GOP leadership have swept him under the carpet.

    July 20, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Until the GOP can offer policies or ideas that aren't the same-old, same-old Bush/Cheney policies and ideas that took our country down the toilet,

    GW BUSH IS ON THE BALLOT!

    Vote for America = Vote Democratic

    July 20, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. liberal

    Let's see:

    In 2000 we had a budget surplus and two (or three) years of balanced budgets. By 2008 we had massive deficits etc.etc.etc (you all know the story).

    When Dick Cheney was asked about the Republican-generated deficits he famously answered: "Deficits don't matter".

    That's right. The Republican poster boy! DEFICITS DON'T MATTER!!!!

    Now we have all the Republican hypocrites screaming about the deficit (which, again, was created mostly under W), wanting to make the deficit the number one election issue, but not wanting to have W be part of the discussion?

    Sorry. Ain't gonna happen.

    July 20, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  13. Shirley in California

    I'll make this easy for those who have problems understanding: George IS on the ballot and will be for as long as the US has two unnecessary wars and a bleeding economy so get used to it!

    July 20, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  14. LYNETTE IN CA

    The bush / cheney repugs are all guilty by association and they know it. There's nothing they can do about it. sessions and cornyn (?sp) were on meet the press and had nothing new to say even when asked several times about what the repug message is now. they couldn't come up with one interesting/original idea. Not one. everything was the same as what bush/cheney said before.

    I am so looking forward to November. They are all going down!

    July 20, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. hobart

    Bush's legacy most certainly is on the ballot in 2010, because that's what the Republicans still support. But in fairness to Bush, Republican leadership, Boehner, McConnell share the blame. And in fairness to Bush, TARP/Stimulus 1 was passed by Bush, and did start the wheels of recovery.

    Today's Republicans run from the one thing Bush did right, and want to continue everything he did wrong. Unfunded tax cuts and wars transformed a budget surplus into record deficits and debt. Deregulation of the financial industry led to economic collapse, lost jobs, lost homes, and lost life savings. Deregulation of the health insurance industry led many to lose their health care. Deregulation of the oil industry led to the death of the Gulf of Mexico, and the livelihoods of everyone who depends on it.

    The Republicans are running on doing more of the same. They don't give a damn about the millions who lost everything.

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    July 20, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    But Shrub (in all his wealthy ignorance) is so much fun to make fun of - except for the fact that he and cheneeeee wiped their butts with our constitution, started two unfunded wars, passed the unfunded medicare drug program, and gave two unfunded tax cuts to his wealthy buddies.

    See how much fun that 8 years is to try to recover from???

    July 20, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Mesa Mick

    Funny, we still talk about Hitler, Stalin and all the other failed war mongers of history. Why should be stop talking about another colossal failure of the human species – Bush.

    What's so special about him? Is it that he's a "conservative christian" who hears voices in his head and thinks it god talkin' to him? That's

    There is no excuse to keep reminding Americans how we can elect an incompetent when we fall for that "family values" s89t rather than competence in government administration.

    And remember Hoover? He's not on the ballot either but we still use him as the poster child to remind us of rethuglicant cold-heartedness towards the working middle class and ineptitude in governance don't we...

    July 20, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. btannerski

    It's no surprise that Republicans don't want W to campaign for them.

    After all, he's the worst President since Hoover...

    1. Tax cuts totally unpaid for, exponentially increasing our nation's debt

    2. Starting of two wars, 1 predicated on lies, all unpaid for, also expanding US debt and deficit

    3. Deregulating our financial system, causing the current financial crisis

    4. Creating a prescription giveaway to seniors....again, unpaid for and adding to our nation's debt

    5. Polarizing the electorate so now our elected officials can't compromise on anything

    6. And, all done while he took the most vacation days of any President in history!

    I would stay away from such a track record as well!

    July 20, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. sandy

    Why isn't it about Bush? If it weren't for Bush and the other Republicans who are still in Washington, this country would not be in such a sorry state. I want to gag when some of those Republicans come on TV and insist that we go back to the Republican years. They just don't get it do they? They are too busy trying to bring Obama down rather than doing what is best for this country, and I for one am tired of it.

    July 20, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. Wake up and smell the coffee

    Bush may not be on the ballot, but the fact is that the GOP wants to continue his policies. The GOP is STILL for deregulation (now they are using the term "free markets" instead of deregulation) even while we are still recovering from an economic mess caused largely by deregulation. The GOP does not want the U.S. out of Iraq or Afghanistan. The GOP does not want to move forward on alternative energy or further regulate polluters or the oil industry. The GOP wants to continue to give tax cuts to the rich with the theory that it will "trickle down" even though that has proven to be a farce. The GOP's solution to everything is tax cuts, which will only increase the deficit (as Bush did). The GOP is STILL holding onto ALL of Bush's policies. The GOP has no new ideas whatsoever.

    July 20, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. ConstitutionalPatriot

    The Bush days had better be over because someone has to offer a real alternative to the corporatist agenda Obama has been pushing. They are all crooks and anyone who tells you republican or democrat is really any different is a fool. Ever wonder why nothing changes. Real change in 2012 vote Ron Paul!

    July 20, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  22. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Chairman Mao has been DEAD for quite a while now, Communism still exists in China...

    In the same way, the Bush agenda and doctrine is still alive and well in the Republican Party.

    Good Luck shaking THAT off.

    July 20, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. Bettie

    Duh ... of course Bush is not campaigning with or for any Republican candidates. They know it'd be toxic to do so. But his ballooning debt, his unending wars and his economic blunders continue to haunt the US like the "aroma" on limbuger cheese.

    July 20, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. Susan L.

    Bush is the albatross around their necks. If you think we're not still suffering from what happened on his watch, think again. The economy is his fault and the lion's share of the deficit is his fault. Mind you, I think the decline of the US in general can be laid at the feet of Saint Ronald Reagan and his trickle-down economics that have destroyed this country. Unfortunately, it became holy canon and even Bill Clinton and, to some extent, Barack Obama kaotao to this voodoo economics. What a shame. It took a 2-bit actor to really bring this country down. How poetic.

    July 20, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. one voice

    Yes but the GOP CLOWNS that rubber stamped his failed policies are , vote all these Corporate shills out.

    July 20, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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