St. Petersburg, Florida (CNN) - The day after former President George W. Bush gave him an impromptu endorsement, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney pointedly avoided naming his new supporter in a Wednesday speech.
Instead, Romney referred to Bush five times as a "predecessor" to President Barack Obama.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
– Follow Rachel Streitfeld on Twitter: @streitfeldcnn
"[Obama] was very critical of his predecessor for the debts his predecessor put in place," Romney told a St. Petersburg audience Wednesday.
Seconds later, he reiterated: "[Obama] was very critical of his predecessor because the predecessor put together $4 trillion of debt over eight years."
Romney went on to criticize Obama for adding to the nation's ballooning debt – some $5 trillion since he took office.
ABC News tossed Bush a question about Romney Tuesday, and the former president replied that he was backing Romney.
In response, Romney's campaign - which usually emails reporters touting big-name endorsements - responded to questions with a pithy statement.
"We welcome the president's support, as we welcomed his father's," spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.
– CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta contributed to this report.
Romney: Debt is like 'prairie fire'
Obama to accept on night of MTV awards
Romney jabs Obama-Clinton relationship
Say what you will about Rmoney – he DOES pay attention to hat his marketing folks tell him to do, and says whatever it takes to make them happy.
Hey Dems....remember the housing bubble....republicans including Bush tried to reel in Fannie and Freddie but the democratic house & senate (Barnie & friends) kept pushing for people who had no business owning a house to own one....this lead to the perfect storm. So although Bush was the POTUS, he had a little help from the dems..even Obama voted to pass the "stimulus". Just remember before you start criticizing.
If the birthers can't even say their predecessor's name, why would anyone think of going down that road again?
Obama is obviously proud of Clinton. robme not proud of the job boosh did? So, he is saying boosh failed. Did the repubs go to school since then?
Great job at re-directing Rachel.
We can't help Obama if people are talking about his massive contribution to our crushing national debt.
I'd avoid naming Bush right now, too.
Meanwhile, Obama avoids mentioning federal budgets (or lack thereof), or debt accumulated at the fastest rate in the country's history. He's got other things he'd prefer to chat about. Obama also avoids mentioning the poor, except when blaming the wealthy for the fact that poverty exists. Unless the wealthy happen to be actors, athletes, musicians or Democrat politicians, in which case they are excused.
Of course Mitt doesn't want to remind people about the glorious George Walker Bush. Bush's policies and unnecessary war helped to get us into the mess we are in.