- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
Democrats recall Bush more than GOP did
Ex-leader blamed for Obama’s plight
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While Republicans rarely brought up former President George W. Bush at their convention last week, Democrats gleefully have paraded him through theirs, saying he left President Obama a mess he’s still working to clean up.
Several speakers derided Republican assertions that Mr. Obama has had enough time to turn the economy around, saying the financial hole the Bush administration dug will take years to climb out of.
“No president, not me, not any of my predecessors, no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years,” said former President Bill Clinton during his keynote speech Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention.
Mr. Clinton mocked Republicans by saying the theme of their convention in Tampa, Fla., was based largely on a false argument that “we left him a total mess, he hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.”
Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, ridiculed Republicans for ignoring Mr. Bush in Tampa, saying in a speech to the convention Wednesday that it was “no accident that Democrats celebrate our past presidents while Republicans virtually banished theirs.”
Mr. Bush didn’t attend the Tampa convention, with his main presence relegated to a five-minute tribute video. But even that honor was shared with his father, former President George H.W. Bush.
Norman Ornstein, a political analyst with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-leaning Washington think tank, said Republicans are in a no-win situation on whether to defend, condemn or ignore Mr. Bush’s legacy.
“Tax cuts combined with two wars unpaid for and a prescription-drug benefit unpaid for … are far the more contributors to our current debt problem than anything that has happened since,” Mr. Ornstein said.
Many fiscally conservative, tea party Republicans are highly critical of the administration of the younger Mr. Bush for its penchant for spending and expanding government programs that led to a bloating of the federal debt.
“There are reasons why Bush’s name didn’t come up very much at the Republican convention other than a sort of feel-good, personal way, because for a policy standpoint, important elements of the contemporary Republican Party don’t want to take ownership of what Bush did,” said William A. Galston, a political analyst with the Brookings Institution, a liberal-leaning Washington think tank.
“Understandably, the Democrats are using the Bush administration as a drum to beat, and I think they’re pretty confident they’re not going to get a big push back from Republicans.”
Republicans have complained Democrats are taking their blame game against Mr. Bush too far and that Mr. Obama has failed to take enough responsibility for the still-sluggish economy.
Mr. Bush’s younger brother, Jeb, a former Republican governor of Florida, has chastised Mr. Obama for attacking his brother, calling on the president to “stop blaming your predecessor for your failed economic policies.”
“You were dealt a tough hand, but your policies have not worked,” said Jeb Bush during a speech at the GOP convention. “In the fourth year of your presidency, a real leader would accept responsibility for his actions, and you haven’t done it.”
Democrats do risk pushing the anti-Bush button too much and turning off voters, Mr. Ornstein said. Some Obama surrogates have praised Mr. Bush for his humanitarian efforts, such his 2003 President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, which dedicated billions of dollars to expand AIDS prevention, treatment and support programs in countries hit hard by the epidemic.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Glenn Beck takes on Hollywood with big movie production plans
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.