Watchdog Blog

Gilbert Cranberg: For Romney et al, the Presidency that Wasn’t

Posted at 4:06 pm, February 1st, 2012
Gilbert Cranberg Mug

How much longer will Republican presidential candidates pretend that George W. Bush doesn’t exist?

Mitt Romney’s victory speech in Florida is a case in point. Romney tore Barack Obama limb from limb on joblessness and other issues, but never once acknowledged that what preceded Obama’s election might have had a bearing on his record. Leaving Obama out of it, you would expect a Republican aspirant for the White House to at least allude to the last GOP occupant if he could think of something — anything — good to say. But Romney’s carefully crafted speech omitted even a glancing reference to Bush’s eight years in office. It’s as though Bush was never elected or accomplished anything worth mention or that his record is so toxic no Republican dares bring it up.

In the famous Sherlock Holmes story, the dog that didn’t bark was a revealing clue. The presidency that goes unremarked likewise speaks volumes. If Republican politicians cannot bring themselves to even utter George W. Bush’s name, how will they defend his record?

Beating up on Obama can only go so far. Sooner or later, Republicans will have to not only utter the unmentionable but to defend it. It will be a sight fascinating to witness.

Romney and his fellow candidates are venomous in their attacks on Obama. He has been virtually a punching bag for them. Look for the general election to be payback time and for George W. Bush to be a major target. The all-out attacks on Obama leave them in no position to plead for mercy for George W. Bush.

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