May 16th, 2012
11:01 AM ET
3 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)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Jim wrote:

    YES! BRING BACK BUSH!!! Maybe we'll actually get a president that loves his country...
    -----------–
    Is that why Bush screwed up the economy?

    May 16, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. rs

    If I were Mr. Romney, even though I promote almost exactly the same policies as Mr. Bush, I'd make damn sure his name never passed my lips. The assosiation is just too awful. Naturally this explains why the GOP sees no culpability in the disaster that was the Bush Administration-they're trying to forget his 8 year disaster as well.

    GOP- the party of early onset dementia!

    May 16, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. gg

    willard bush the third–crash and burn-while him and his friends pile the money bags off shore

    May 16, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. The REAL Truth...

    @Jim – YES! BRING BACK BUSH!!! Maybe we'll actually get a president that loves his country...
    ----------------------–
    Yeah, he loved it so much he trashed it fiscally, allowed 9/11 to occur despite early warnings, started TWO unfunded wars that ended up on the Obama budget, had the HIGHEST national gas prices ever ($4+), bailed out the banks with the $850B TARP bailout, and left Obama with a $1.4T DEFICIT as he walked out the door.

    Oh yeah... he REALLY LOVED his country.....

    May 16, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. TomInRochNY

    This article just reminds me of the SNL skit where McCain is trying to avoid Bush. But Todd Palin tracks him down and brings him to the oval office. Then Bush says, "When you see John's face, just think of me." It's classic how comedy reflects and precedes reality.

    May 16, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. sonny chapman

    George W. Bush: Isn't he the guy that struck the match, the First Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy(Job Creators) that started the "Prairie Fire" that Mitt was railing about yesterday ? You'd think Mitt could remember the name. Heck, every body still remembers Miss O'Leary & her cow in Chicago & that was 120 years ago.

    May 16, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Dave T

    GW Bush left office with the lowest approval rating of any president, 2 wars (one based on lies), our country on the verge of economic collapse. Not hard to figure out why the GOP isn't anxious to have him endorsing anyone

    May 16, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. CJ

    It's rather humorous how Obama supporters are attempting to pin Romney as another Bush, while President Obama's policies are virtually identical (with the exception of the unconstitutional healthcare reform and a few smaller issues). They're all really just (illegal) war-mongering centrists that lean a little to one side or the other. Neither candidate cares for our rights, they merely differ on which ones to take away first.

    May 16, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. Independant Texan

    Having been schooled in private schools rather than public schools, Harvard U., etc., you know he "feels" the pain the middle class is undergoing. Why, his father was one of "them" earlier in his life and was told many stories of how money wasn`t plentiful till they became wealthy. YESSSIIIIRRRREEEEEE !!! He`s my man--–

    May 16, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Thomas

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

    Yes , bring back GW Bush , he will love us to death this time !

    Romney is GW Bush only with five sons who love there country so mush , they all avoided voluntary military service in times of war.

    May 16, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. anagram_kid

    This was another example of Gov. Romney not having the back-bone a real leader needs. He has no control over who endorses him, but he could have responded with something like this, “While I appreciate President Bush’s support, I must acknowledge that his failed policies, unfunded wars, tax cuts and prescription drug program took us from a budget surplus to a deficit. I will not repeat those mistakes”. Sadly, the fact is that he will repeat those mistakes; he just cannot bring himself to state it to voters. At some point he needs to put the good of the nation above his own ego and accept that current GOP policies do not work.

    May 16, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Mikey

    Neither of these two guys wants to have much to do with the other. President Bush endorsed Romney in an elevator and Romney won't say his name. Come to think of it, Santorum endorsed Romney in a wishy-washy late night email.

    Can't say I blame any of them – who would want to connect themselves too closely with any of the three?

    May 16, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    CJ – kinda like ROBME trying to put Carter and Obama together? Get real. Robme is much worse than W and Obama is better than Carter. Pick another talking point.

    May 16, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Puck puck puck puck-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    Coward much, Mitt?

    May 16, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Matthew

    Yo Romney, I can teach you how to make up false wars. Then I can teach you how to not pay for them.

    May 16, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Brian

    Good idea to do this, as much as people can argue about Obama deserving a second term or not, we can all agree at least he's a better president than GW was.

    May 16, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. iceload9

    Whoever's gotten to know Mitt wants nothing to do with him on a personnel level. Who hangs around him not counting the ones who want to be VP? You never read so and so is meeting with Mitt to talk strategy.

    May 16, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Obama, spent 2 years attacking George Bush and his policies when he ran for President. Then spent 4 years CONTINUING most of them after he got elected all while blaming Bush for everything, including Obama's failed policies.

    Obama/Biden/Bush 2012 - Because We Just Lied to Get Elected, We Really Loved George Bush

    May 16, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. ShawnDH

    Mittens is a coward. Why won't he take any questions from reporters?

    May 16, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. DRod

    Come on...I've been waiting for the Bush nail on Rmoney's coffin. I guess there isn't going to be a photo op?

    May 16, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    sonny chapman
    George W. Bush: Isn't he the guy that struck the match, the First Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy(Job Creators) that started the "Prairie Fire" that Mitt was railing about yesterday ?
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    There are two things wrong with what you say here. First is that the Bush Tax Cuts are for every working American. Always were. The Washington Democratic Spin Machine 'forgets' that fact. So of course you did too.

    The second fact is that the first three years after the Bush Tax Cuts, federal revenues actually increased by $780 billion. Imagine that. Taxes go down and the government collects more money. It's like magic, but really it's just plain ole Economics in action. And working. But speaking of working, in those same 3 years 3 million new jobs were created.

    The smartest thing Obama has done in the last 3 years was to sign the extension of the Bush Tax cuts last year. Everyone benefited, including the federal government.

    May 16, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. John

    I am a supporter of Barack Obama. I am no fan of George Bush, and I think the only difference between Romney and Bush is that Romney is richer, much less personable, and possibly smarter. However, this is just bad manners. It is rude of Romney to stiff-arm a kindred spirit, especially as this was a damned-either-way scenario anyway.

    May 16, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Republicans know that Bush was a complete disaster. Mitt Romney is just trying to plant a subliminal seed into people's minds equating Obama and economic disaster. After all, that is the main message Romney has been selling.

    May 16, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Maxx

    Romney, a liar, a bully and a coward all in one.

    May 16, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. DRod

    No photo op? I guess they admit what everyone knows. The failed Bush-Republican experiment caused the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Let me say that again for the Fuax-Noise drones still in denial.
    The failed Bush-Republican experiment caused the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. President Obama has been working on the Recovery despite Republican Obstructionism. Obama will be reelected in November.

    May 16, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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