July 8th, 2008
05:11 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney tight-lipped on Bush's convention role

Romney remained tight-lipped on Bush's role at the convention.

Romney remained tight-lipped on Bush's role at the convention.

(CNN) - It's one of the more tricky political tasks the McCain campaign faces at this summer's Republican convention: how to successfully present an incumbent president whose approval ratings hover at or below 30 percentage points.

Speaking on CNN Tuesday, top John McCain surrogate Mitt Romney remained noticeably tight-lipped about the chances of the party's presumptive nominee appearing with the unpopular president.

"You know I am not much of a choreographer, I have to be honest with you," Romney told CNN Tuesday when asked whether the two men would appear together on stage during the convention. "I don't know how convention choreography is going to work. Of course we want to hear from our president and hear his perspectives.”

Watch: Romney discusses the Republican convention

The White House announced last week Bush would speak on the four-day convention's opening night, presumably long before the Arizona senator touches down in the host citiy of Minneapolis. McCain will accept his party's nomination on the convention's last evening.

Pressed if McCain is willing to be photographed with Bush at some point during that high profile week, Romney said it was a decision for the "political powers-that-be to decide."

"But this is clearly John McCain's convention," the former presidential candidate said. "This is his chance to lay out his vision, for our party and for America, and he is certainly going to be the highlight of this convention and I'm looking forward to it."

McCain has long sought to distance himself from his party's leader, and the two have only appeared publicly together twice since the Arizona senator became his party's presumptive nominee five months ago: once at an official endorsement ceremony at the White House and once before a party fundraiser in Arizona.

Watch: Is McCain like Bush?

Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney • Popular Posts • President Bush
soundoff (194 Responses)

    YES -YES-YES-YES- McCain is hiding McBush!

    July 8, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. Eddie

    I hope the losers take a gazillion photographs together. The WORST PRESIDENT IN MODERN HISTORY

    July 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Don't want to say if and when the President will speak.
    President Bush kisses Senator McCain on the head.
    Governor Romney come on, be honest.
    John McCain wants it both ways. He wants to include
    Bush when he's with the Republicans and disown him
    when he is with the rest of the country. What a fake person
    McCain is. He will do anything for political gain.

    July 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Bruce, Chicago

    I love the creativity on some of these posts. McIdiot? McMoron? Does your mommy know you are typing on a big-kid website? President Bush is a good man. And his speaking at the convention will bring tons of publicity to a campaign that doesn't have the funds to brainwash, um, I mean reach as many people like Obama. McCain was serving this country in one capacity or another around the same time Obama was snorting coke in his parents basement. Lets hope those blinded by words over action come to their senses before November.

    July 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. tedious898

    Brandon (Puma huh?) Funny I didn't know what that meant – i.e. PUMA... of course I "googled" it and found out. That's something McCain couldn't do.

    But worse that that I've heard so many PUMA's say – " Hell hath no rath like a woman scorned" because most of the PUMA's are women. The majority feel personal hurt as women.

    What's your excuse? I'm not being funny ...just trying to see is there a logical reason for you supporting Mc- AllWrongAbouteverything.

    July 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Johnny Mac is bad cheese gone worse

    And since Grampy McShambles represents 95% of George Bush's current leadership qualities and policies that means he starts out with a whoppin' 30% job approval rating he so richly deserves. Funny thing that the John McCain of the last two elections wouldn't ever think of voting for the remolded and fish-rotting-from-the-head-down John McFlip-Flop of this election. S'plain that!

    July 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Unempressed

    I think they should hold hands and walk out together.

    insert wave and smile too!

    July 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Dee Dee

    Yes, the money shot–THE WORST PRESIDENT IN MODERN HISTORY right beside the "also ran". I can't wait.

    Obama 08

    July 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. Foreign observer

    All the faillures of the past 7 years have been a team achievement. The GOP was the team. Choose the same team and you will get the same kind of game.

    July 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. barbara campbell

    Obviously McCain wants to distance himself as much as possible from George W Bush. Even though McCain has voted 95% of the time for the Bush agenda, he tries to present himself as a maverick and a moderate – both false. Let's hope the American people see through the spin and think for themselves in November.

    July 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Paul W., Tampa, FL

    Let Bush speak and make sure it is during prime time so all can be reminded of the great accomplishments the Republican Party, and yes all of American, has to celebrate...Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan, Enron, wiretapping U.S. citizens, torture, the great economy, outing CIA agents to the press, debt taller than Everest, and turning the dollar into the Peso. Let him get up there and tell us that everything is all good and it can only stay that way if we elect McBush.

    July 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Hey mark at 5:16,
    nice to see the Republicans from 2001 through Jan 2007 take a HUGE surplus and turn it into the biggest deficit we've ever seen in this country. Actually, history of the world.

    Unlike Gore, who should've not distanced himself from Bill Clinton (and then we wouldn't be in this mess we're in now, at least not Iraq on an unnecessary and unwarranted basis), McCain is going to have to keep distance because he can't be seen as "tied" to President Bush. It's an unwinning proposition.

    Then again, with where the polls are right now in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado and MONTANA, where Senator Obama is up (and even fairly close in Georgia 5% back, North Carolina 3%and of course Florida 3%), McCain may want to tether himself to Bush in hopes that he can keep some of those formerly red states.

    July 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. Florida for OBAMA!

    Romney is garbage!

    July 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. No McLooser

    MCRomney go back to where you came from oh thats right you are from every state /He is a loud mouth talks loud and drowns the rest out he thinks he is so wise and inportant who would want to listen to Mc Romney .How is he going to get between Lieberman and McSane ?Do we get to watch them drive the wedge ?
    Looks like mcRomney would have to drive a wedge between McShames right elbow shadow man "correct me if I misspeaK idiot ."

    July 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Bob

    I don't think McCain has seen bush in a long time much less hiding any.


    July 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. martin

    bush is corrupt.mccain is learning well from him.

    July 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Introducing "Mini-Me, McBush"

    Bush could just introduce McCain as mini-me. At least he'd get a laugh, which is more than McBush could do.

    Is it me, or does anyone else get creeped out when McCain laughs at his own statements? EW. It's like McCrypt or some creepy clown.

    July 8, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. martin

    i guess the 'great decider' will have to decide from under a bus,now.mccain is taking up his torch ,for him,now.

    July 8, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Foreign observer

    Poor President Bush – when you have such friends you don´t need to have enemies. Not critisizing Bush all the times he was wrong and now keeping save distance !

    July 8, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. McCain is still Running?

    Looks like the people have long made up their minds, the 30% who still approve will watch the Republican convention hanging on every word, the other 70% won't even tune in, Nick at Nite will get better ratings with reruns of "Alice" over this loser fest

    July 8, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. JohnGalt

    Having Bush speak at the republican convention will be a trick I can't miss watching. How many times do we have the opportunity to watch the dead bury the dead, outside of the Friday night horror flix.

    July 8, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. Steve

    I think most people have probably made up their minds by now as to who they are going to vote for, for president. The two parties are so widely different in what they want to do and how they want to do it, there is very little room for confusion. While it would probably be a mistake for Bush to speak at the McCain going away party, because it'll swing the last 6 voters that plan on actually voting Republican away from the party, it really won't make much difference. The Republicans are toast this time around. They could have Howdy Doody give the keynote address, and it won't make any difference.

    July 8, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. MIke

    I have a question...........What is a conservative Republican since this Idiot Mcshame endorsed the Idiot Bush who has spent more money than any other pary I know, how are you conservative with all the wasted money being pumped into a Wasteful war and not helping the economy, what is conservative about that??????????

    July 8, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. Louis

    These people are disgusting–first, they promote Bush through two elections and saddle us with the arguably the worst President in recent history. Now after all the damage has been done to our country, these same people run for cover. Despicable.

    July 8, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. Scott L

    What is with all the McBush references? That is so lame.

    That is like saying O'Jackson. Obama and Jesse Jackson are no more alike than Bush and McCain.

    Libs are just upset you picked a candidate that is going to get decimated in the general election by my man McCain! Too bad O'Jackson is now flip flopping on his war stance. So many of you are against the war, but now he won't withdraw like he promised.

    Looks like the flavor aid is starting to go sour...

    July 8, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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