May 16th, 2012
11:01 AM ET
6 years ago

Romney avoids naming the 43rd president

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.

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"[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.

Also see:

Romney: Debt is like 'prairie fire'

Obama to accept on night of MTV awards

Romney jabs Obama-Clinton relationship

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (56 Responses)

    Say it Willard! DUBYA! Your proposed policies are Bushs' on steroids.

    May 16, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Data Driven

    "The Predecessor"? I thought he was the Decider! Anyway, that's right, conservatives: 2001-2008 never happened. Or maybe Clinton the Predecessor of the United States. Does it matter?

    Meanwhile, CNN, you might want to fact-check that $5 trillion figure. Sounds like a GOP talking point. How much of that $5 trillion was the result of the Obama Administration putting the Predecessor's unfunded wars on the books? Better check it out.

    May 16, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. American

    Romney cannot avoid Bush, since Mitt chose to staff himself with the same Bush members and failed policies.

    Divisive Karl Rove doing Romney's advertising
    Bush uber-Lobbyist Charlie Black advising Romney
    17 Bush Neo-Cons on Romney's foreign policy
    Bush's Ed Gillepsie is Romney's senior advisor
    Etc, etc, etc...

    Sadly Romney = Bush 2.0

    May 16, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |

    Willard, that pulse you hear is your campaign on life support. You were dealt the kiss of death yesterday from George W. Bush.

    May 16, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. anagram_kid

    So here is Romney’s logic (or lack thereof): President Obama is wrong for pointing out that President Bush added to the deficit, but it is OK for him, Gov. Romney to do the same thing; point out that President Obama added to the deficit. All of this is done while Gov. Romney ignores that much of the debt ‘added’ by President Obama was caused by putting Bush’s two unfunded wars on the books. I often wonder if Gov. Romney is even aware of how dishonest and manipulative he is.

    Obama 2012 – Because integrity matters

    May 16, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "Romney went on to criticize Obama for adding to the nation's ballooning debt – some $5 trillion since he took office."

    CNN wanna take a stab at guessing how much fo that $5T is directly attributable to 'The Predecessor's" policies as enacted by him and the GOP and defended and continued by the GOP/Teatrolls' obstruction and recalcitrance and unwillingness to admit that said policies failed and caused the deficits and debt mess? No? Just gonna play he-said-she-said and turn a blind eye to blatant lying? Cowards.

    May 16, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Instead, Romney referred to Bush five times as a "predecessor" to President Barack Obama."

    Poor, Mitt. No matter how hard he shakes that golden etch a sketch of his, ain't no way he can get past our 43rd president. Good grief, Romney has all but accepted every GW adviser on his own team, making Mittens the biggest GW wannabee policy maker this side of right wing ideology to ever campaign.

    May 16, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. s

    Poor Mittens, stuck with the Bush's. bo ho bo ho, what comes around

    May 16, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. MaryM

    Mitt = Bush. Do we really want to go back to the Bush policies. Mitt wants to since he , Mitt, has hired Bush's

    May 16, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. DIANA

    That's O-K Mittens I'm sure the Obama team will be more than happy to remind us who endorsed you. Betty White's endorsement of Obama has more clout than this clowns, (no disrespect to Ms. White – I love her).

    May 16, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Al-NY,NY can do it......"Duh-bya" "Duh-bya" Can you say that? Sure you can. You're just too chicken to mention the virus that sent this country into the abyss that Obama is pulling us out of.

    May 16, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Senor Ed

    It's OK Mittens, many of us are still too embarrassed to mention the Shrub by name.

    May 16, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. California Gary

    Strange that Romney would treat Dubya like a leper.........seeing as how he is hoping to become another version of him. He is adopting his team and his policies.......he obviously thinks Bush had it right.

    May 16, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. MTATL67

    Romney and the GOP can bury their heads in the sand all they want trying to pretend their zealous support of Bush didn't happen. Just like Republican's are now saying their war on women is a myth. While Walker repealed equal pay in Wisconsin and Gov. McDonnell signed the bill to force evasive ultra-sound procedure on women in Virginia and Sen. McConnell standing in the Capital and before the world saying "This issue will not go away until the administration simply backs down". Republicans can say they are waging a war on women in this country but their action speak louder than their words.

    May 16, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. d

    And Romney is hitting Obama for his relationship with President Clinton? Arguably the most successful post-WWII president. I'd take that association over W. Bush.

    May 16, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. cali girl

    Sounds like Robmey really doesn't want to be related to Dubya at ALL. Too bad, we would see more of the same no matter which way you look at it.

    May 16, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. Is Mitt a Git?

    Romney is flip flopping again on this. He thanked GW Bush and his father for their endorsements, but today GW Bush is "he who must not be named". OK Flippy, once again you show your flippin' consistency. Bush, the wonder chimp should join you on the campaing trail. You both have the same red eyes: yours are from uncontrolled anger, and his are from too much booze.

    May 16, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Obvious Guy

    I have a feeling the next headline is going to say, BREAKING NEWS: Romney calls Obama a stupid meany head

    May 16, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Governor 47th in Job Growth

    The cowardly Bain guy won't do it, so I will: Willard Bush. Same advisors, same economic failed policies, same platform. Willard Robmey = Bush 3.0

    May 16, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Jim

    YES! BRING BACK BUSH!!! Maybe we'll actually get a president that loves his country...

    May 16, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Four and The Door

    It's interesting that Obama was elected on an anti-Bush vote with Obama proclaiming Iraq as "unwinnable" and voters concerned that we were ignoring Afghanistan. Where are we now? We won in Iraq and Obama is pretty much giving Afghanistan back to the Taliban in 2014. Ironic.

    May 16, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Debbie

    Romney's touting GWBush policies AND already hired "advisors" direct from GWBush Administration. A vote for Romney is a vote for a return to GWBush!

    May 16, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Sniffit

    Brass tacks: Refusing to name Dubya is an implicit admission that his identity, which is of course defined by his immutable link to the GOP, is still very toxic and that Deputy Doublethink wants to pretend that the blame for those policies and their consequences doesn't lie with his party.

    May 16, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Many Americans are probably too young to know that when companies wanted to profit they sent out what they called "Hatchet Men" to fire people. Mitt Romney was Bain Capitol's "Hatchet Man" and he will do the same thing to Americans. Please read about "Hatchet Men".

    May 16, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Let's face it. Today's trillion dollar deficits were predicted by someone within "the predecessor's" administration. The warning didn't fit the ideological narrative, so they fired him.

    May 16, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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