George H. W. Bush to formally endorse Romney tomorrow

posted at 12:10 pm on March 28, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When I first read this Associated Press report, the first thought that came to mind was, “Didn’t former President George H. W. Bush already endorse Mitt Romney?”  Actually, no, at least not formally, but that’s a fine distinction.  By tomorrow, that distinction will be erased:

Former President George H.W. Bush plans to endorse Mitt Romney, further urging the Republican Party to coalesce around the former Massachusetts governor’s presidential campaign.

Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho says the two will meet Thursday in Houston. They plan to appear together and speak to reporters.

Formal backing from the 41st president shows the Republican Party is uniting behind Romney while pressure builds on challengers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to leave the race.

On one hand, I share Allahpundit’s reservations on just how meaningful this will be to those who oppose Romney’s nomination.  While Bush 41 did a fine job as President, he left a bad taste in the mouths of conservatives over his tax-hike deal in 1990, after his “read my lips” promise to oppose tax increases.  Democrats never delivered the promised spending cuts, either, which made him look weak, and Bill Clinton mercilessly exploited that in the 1992 election.  It’s difficult to see how this endorsement will move the needle now — with all else being equal.

The question will be whether all else is equal at the moment.  Back in December when Bush expressed support just short of an endorsement, Rick Santorum had begun vaulting up the polls and Newt Gingrich was still competitive.  At the moment, the two most likely outcomes appear to be Romney winning a majority of delegates by June, and Romney winning a brokered convention thanks to his delegate advantage and sotto voce alliance with Ron Paul.  An endorsement now might push the nomination process towards that tipping point where everyone just decides to get on the bandwagon and finish the primaries in order to focus on the fall election.


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troyriser_gopftw on March 28, 2012 at 12:52 PM

…and Mitt is less conservative than all the others…5 squishes in the run…Obama on top

Schadenfreude on March 28, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Mitt isn’t perfect but he has been our best hope since Perry imploded.

echosyst on March 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

You make me sick.

tencole on March 28, 2012 at 1:03 PM/blockquote>

Wow! How about you support who you support, I support who I support, and we give each other the presumption of good faith, being that we are allies (or at least as far as I’m concerned, not sure if that makes you sick, too)?

kjl291 on March 28, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Can we stop with the announcing, “We’re going to make an announcement.” already?

talkingpoints on March 28, 2012 at 1:09 PM

The fact that Republicans think a George H. W. Bush endorsement is a positive tells you all you need to know about the state of the GOP.

Spliff Menendez on March 28, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Can we stop with the announcing, “We’re going to make an announcement.” already?

talkingpoints on March 28, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Squeezing blood from a turnip isn’t easy.

FloatingRock on March 28, 2012 at 1:12 PM

At the end of the day I’ll be voting for him, and
pulling his worthless, spineless, noodle azz over the finish line.

ToddPA on March 28, 2012 at 1:06 PM

That about sums up where I’m at too.

Lost in Jersey on March 28, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Romney supporters. We want a Washington outsider. That is why we pick the man who has the most inside of Washington players backing him.

astonerii on March 28, 2012 at 12:26 PM

As opposed to the other three who have all spent decades in Washington. Go figure. Let’s see-Someone who spends decades in Washington is a Washington outsider compared to someone who has never lived or worked in Washington. How logical.

talkingpoints on March 28, 2012 at 1:16 PM

A RINO endorsing a RINO…who could have seen that one coming?

cajunpatriot on March 28, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse. There’s no end in sight for this nightmare and the republican country club club just keeps on piling it on.

mozalf on March 28, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Romney winning a brokered convention thanks to his delegate advantage and sotto voce alliance with Ron Paul

LOL Ed.

Where is your independent thinking? How many times has Ron Paul ran for POTUS? He has always had the same goal and used the same strategy, but this time, since he is not a member of the ABR social con coalition he’s in a secret, unspoken alliance with Romney? It was a ridiculous accusation when it was first made and rings even more so now.

Paul is staying in the race because he has an economic agenda he wants incorporated into the platform, he’s always had that goal. What is it that Gingrich and Santorium intend to bring to the platform? Class warfare? Because that’s all I hear from them, and their surrogates.

Texas Gal on March 28, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Ugly ugly stuff here. Sad.

bluealice on March 28, 2012 at 1:34 PM

The fact that Republicans think a George H. W. Bush endorsement is a positive tells you all you need to know about the state of the GOP.

Spliff Menendez on March 28, 2012 at 1:12 PM

An endorsement from Bush the elder is a positive for Republicans. And if you don’t mind my asking, what party do you belong to, Spliff? Just a guess, but are you a Ron Paul supporter by any chance? If so, please list Ron Paul’s legislative accomplishments or, for that matter, any other accomplishment of his anywhere that has contributed to the public weal. And no, delivering babies doesn’t count in this context. Neither do inflammatory newsletters or appearances in paranoid conspiracy documentaries by Alex Jones. We’re talking political accomplishments here.

Waiting…

troyriser_gopftw on March 28, 2012 at 1:36 PM

On one hand, I share Allahpundit’s reservations on just how meaningful this will be to those who oppose Romney’s nomination.

God himself could endorse Romney, identify Santorum as the antichrist, and both of you would still lament the value of such approbation and revelation, then question his motives.

Marcus Traianus on March 28, 2012 at 1:40 PM

The point is that if Romney is so hot-to-trot to get rid of O-Care, why has he been so silent on the issue? “Anyone with a room-temp-or-above IQ” could see that’s what he meant.

Bitter Clinger on March 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Well, I’ll hand you this: The Romney campaign has really fallen down on ensuring that all the bad-faith critics out there are notified on a daily f***ing basis that the guy plans to gut PPACA with an Executive Order on Day 1 and work with Congress to repeal it thereafter. Notwithstanding all the times he’s said it, there needs to be a real-time notification every new time he says it. They really need an app or something; because you know, any day he doesn’t repeat his objection to it, it means he doesn’t believe it anymore.

Take yes for an answer, dude.

DrSteve on March 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Where’s W? That’s the missing link in this unholy trinity. Boy if that’s not enough to give conservatives pause, it will surely scare independents and democrats that the future face of the republican party is going to be Romney, Bushes X 2 or 3, Donald Trump, Karl Rove, Dick Morris – God, I feel nauseous.

mozalf on March 28, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Winners all around.

KeninCT on March 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM

At the end of the day I’ll be voting for him, and
pulling his worthless, spineless, noodle azz over the finish line.

ToddPA on March 28, 2012 at 1:06 PM

That about sums up where I’m at too.

Lost in Jersey on March 28, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Add me to that voting block.

dmn1972 on March 28, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Down with the RINOS!

have fun under another four years of Obummer

JihadKiller1s1k on March 28, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Take yes for an answer, dude.

DrSteve on March 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM

It’s much easier to take yes for an answer when you can believe the guy who’s saying it.

swinia sutki on March 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Winners all around.

KeninCT on March 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM

You being the exception.

ToddPA on March 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Read my lips…NO MORE RINOS!

RedRobin145 on March 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Well, I’ll hand you this: The Romney campaign has really fallen down on ensuring that all the bad-faith critics out there are notified on a daily f***ing basis that the guy plans to gut PPACA with an Executive Order on Day 1 and work with Congress to repeal it thereafter. Notwithstanding all the times he’s said it, there needs to be a real-time notification every new time he says it. They really need an app or something; because you know, any day he doesn’t repeat his objection to it, it means he doesn’t believe it anymore.

Take yes for an answer, dude.

DrSteve on March 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Outstanding retort!

kjl291 on March 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I know it’s sacrilegious to a few on here, but my liberal acquaintances are circulating a Facebook photo of Romney and Bush, Sr. together that’s pretty damned funny and the caption is “row, row, row your yacht” with some pretty clever and hysterical lyrics.

mozalf on March 28, 2012 at 1:57 PM

God himself could endorse Romney

Maybe he’ll cut a couple of anti-social con ads for him?

Don L on March 28, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Where’s W? That’s the missing link in this unholy trinity. Boy if that’s not enough to give conservatives pause, it will surely scare independents and democrats that the future face of the republican party is going to be Romney, Bushes X 2 or 3, Donald Trump, Karl Rove, Dick Morris – God, I feel nauseous.

mozalf on March 28, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Thing is, both Santorum and Gingrich belong in The Brotherhood of Evil Establishment Republicans at least as much as Romney does. Both Gingrich and Santorum are big government Republicans. Prior to announcing their candidacies, both were highly paid Beltway Insider lobbyist types.

But hey, if you’re feeling nauseous now, don’t watch JFK’s church-and-state separation speech, whatever you do. According to Rick Santorum, it’s like watching Tobe Hooper’s original Texas Chainsaw Massacre while eating undercooked lamb dipped in spaghetti sauce.

troyriser_gopftw on March 28, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Notwithstanding all the times he’s said it, there needs to be a real-time notification every new time he says it.

DrSteve on March 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Romney on Obamacare…

So some similarities, some differences, and I hope we’re ultimately able to eliminate some of the differences, repeal the bad and keep the good.

No repeal…just tweaking.

So do we believe Mitt Romney version 7.0, or do we believe Mitt Romney version 8.0?

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM

troyriser_gopftw on March 28, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Your Luap Nor rant was entertaining. I live in VA, where my wife’s vote went to Romney because Paul was the only other option. It will go to whomever wins the GOP nomination as it always does. I cannot vote because of a drug-related felony conviction when I was 19. I’m currently waiting to hear if Gov McDonell will approve my application to restore my civil rights so that I my also pull the lever for the GOP.

BTW, the GOP makes me sick most of the time. That feeling began during Bush 43′s term in office. I’m not the only one that feels that way. But what are we gonna do? Vote Democrat? No.

Spliff Menendez on March 28, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Down with the RINOS!

have fun under another four years of Obummer

JihadKiller1s1k on March 28, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Some choice, huh? Which foot do we shoot?

mozalf on March 28, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Bush 41, not 43.

Spliff Menendez on March 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKzJtG3ecnc&feature=youtu.be

This explains and documents the differences between so-called Romneycare and Obamacare. Find out why Santorum is either dishonest or does not know how to read. Must viewing for anyone who plans to vote.

Bambi on March 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

BUSH, Big Government Progressive wolf with the clothing of a Conservative sheep.

BUSH……The squishy plague on the gop that just keeps on giving.

jeb 2016

jeb 2020

george p. 2024

george p. 2028

jenna 2032

jenna 2036

……and on and on…

PappyD61 on March 28, 2012 at 2:11 PM

President “Read My Lips” Flip-Flopper endorses Willard “Read My Etch-a-Sketch” Flip-Flopper.

This is surprising.

In other news … Megan McCain endorsed Romney well over a year and a half ago – and the GOP elite have decided to follow HER lead.

We can safely call the elitiists – and the RomneyCare Campaign – the MEGAN MCCAIN WING OF THE PARTY!

HondaV65 on March 28, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Let’s be pure, let’s stick our finger in the eye of every decent man in America and let’s nominate Rick Santorum who speaks all the right speeches works every scam he can and won’t get elected. Pundits will have four more years of outrage to spew at Obama while they clean up on advertising. Ed Morrissey used to have credibility with me as a man who wanted conservative leadership but he prefers conservative rhetoric.

aloysiusmiller on March 28, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Ed Morrissey used to have credibility with me as a man who wanted conservative leadership but he prefers conservative rhetoric.

aloysiusmiller on March 28, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Can you give some examples of ‘conservative leadership’ from Mitt Romney? Most of the time he was hiding under the table while others opposed Obama.

Now he is the king of ‘severely conservative’ rhetoric but his record and past statements don’t match his new found bravado.

In fact aren’t you talking about yourself here?

There is no conservative leadership to be found in Romney and rhetoric is all he is about.

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I became a republican to get rid of sleazy, dishonest politicians like Romney – we used to call them “democrats”. But now we’re being told it’s to be Romney or the highway. We’re basically being held hostage by the republican establishment and this trying to blackmail us into not rejecting Rmoney because “it’s a vote for Obama” is getting old. My vote is too important to me and should be earned not coerced, expected as entitlement, bullied, thrown away on a candidate who may or may not be that much better than the democrat incumbent. It may be my only vote in this election cycle but since I can’t vote for Rick Santorum in our primary -conveniently disqualified – I’m voting for Newt Gingrich as a protest vote against Rmoney. RNC, give us a candidate to vote FOR or you make your own bed and lie in it! Brokered convention is sounding better and better especially with the kind of endorsements Rmoney is getting and who exactly will be influential in the republican party.

mozalf on March 28, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Can you give some examples of ‘conservative leadership’ from Mitt Romney? Most of the time he was hiding under the table while others opposed Obama.

Now he is the king of ‘severely conservative’ rhetoric but his record and past statements don’t match his new found bravado.

In fact aren’t you talking about yourself here?

There is no conservative leadership to be found in Romney and rhetoric is all he is about.

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Well said sharrukin. I’ve been waiting for months for Romney supporters on HotAir to lay out examples of Romney’s ‘conservative leadership’ when asked.

As Erik Erikson recently said, the goal for conservatives after this election is to “disetangle themselves from the GOP.”

KickandSwimMom on March 28, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Well said sharrukin. I’ve been waiting for months for Romney supporters on HotAir to lay out examples of Romney’s ‘conservative leadership’ when asked.

You aren’t alone.

All they can do is attack actual conservatives and have nothing substantial to say in favor of their own guy.

As Erik Erikson recently said, the goal for conservatives after this election is to “disetangle themselves from the GOP.”

KickandSwimMom on March 28, 2012 at 3:11 PM

The GOP is gone IMO. Its basically the Democratic party and the Democrats are flat out socialists.

I think conservatives should disentangle themselves from the GOP BEFORE the election. The lesser of two evils argument never ends and it will be no different in 2016. Lenin is the lesser evil when put up against Stalin.

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 3:18 PM

The GOP is gone IMO. Its basically the Democratic party and the Democrats are flat out socialists.

I think conservatives should disentangle themselves from the GOP BEFORE the election. The lesser of two evils argument never ends and it will be no different in 2016. Lenin is the lesser evil when put up against Stalin.

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 3:18 PM

It’s looking bad for the Senate races, too. That buffoon Scott Brown is losing in MA. He’s the only one that can reach out to democrats. So why pick a republican then when they can go with the real thing. Same with Olympia Snowe in ME. They’ll just go with the real thing there. And VA is getting screwed up. Why do we try to work with democrats? We need to defeat them. The republicans don’t look to be getting any kind of solid, insurmountable majority in Congress this next go-around. And with a wimp like Romney as president, the democrats will have a field day. Except they can stamp any new health care, economic, tax policies with a republican stamp of approval. Very depressing.

mozalf on March 28, 2012 at 3:29 PM

So why pick a republican then when they can go with the real thing. Same with Olympia Snowe in ME. They’ll just go with the real thing there.

Its just common sense.

When you are appealing to someone based on how much loot you can deliver to them its hardly surprising that they will go with the best thief in the business.

And VA is getting screwed up. Why do we try to work with democrats? We need to defeat them.

The GOP regards the Democrats as allies and rivals in governing while the Democrats see the GOP as a not particularly bright enemy.

The republicans don’t look to be getting any kind of solid, insurmountable majority in Congress this next go-around. And with a wimp like Romney as president, the democrats will have a field day. Except they can stamp any new health care, economic, tax policies with a republican stamp of approval. Very depressing.

mozalf on March 28, 2012 at 3:29 PM

And Romney will ‘compromise’ just like Boehner excels at doing. That ‘compromise’ will be supported by the Democrats who will get 90% of what they want and the GOP who will vote along party lines.

Arguably Romney will be worse than Obama could ever hope to be. He is going to tweak Obamacare so it can be called Romneycare National and get a round of applause from the same folks on here who tell us again and again that Romney is going to tear Obamacare to pieces DAY ONE BABY!

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 3:38 PM

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 3:38 PM

It’s like a rut we’re stuck in and can’t get out of. There are still plenty of states left and counter strategies to employ. We definitely don’t have to follow the same old tired game plan set out by the republican establishment. And at least I can be passionate and excited about Rick Santorum now because if it’s Romney as the nominee, wake me when it’s 2016.

mozalf on March 28, 2012 at 3:43 PM

As opposed to the other three who have all spent decades in Washington. Go figure. Let’s see-Someone who spends decades in Washington is a Washington outsider compared to someone who has never lived or worked in Washington. How logical.

talkingpoints on March 28, 2012 at 1:16 PM

It is logical. Because when you talk about getting someone that is not part of the problem into position, AKA not a beltway insider, it speaks volumes how all the other insiders see each of the candidates. Romney is seen by the already established Washington insiders as one of them, someone who will see things just like they see things, and not change things that the voters who are looking for an outsider to change. So, when you look at the other three, you have to ask yourself, why are all these already established in positions of power people not wanting them to come to Washington with significant power.

For Santorum, it is probably because they simply detest social conservatives, they always have, because in general, those representing us in Washington are not very socially moral.

For Ron Paul, who wants to cut the power of Washington by magnitudes, it is easy to see why he gets no support at all.

Now, Newt Gingrich is the special person. He has been to Washington in a position of power before, and unlike many of those in the past who got that power, he did not work fervently to keep it in his hands, but worked fervently to move that power back to the people and the states. Balanced Budget, Welfare Reform, Telecom deregulation that opened the door for a myriad of new communications opportunities that brought the market more than a decade of expansion, that very well may continue once this downturn caused by the housing market turmoil becomes history.

Go Newt, We love you! Hand in there Newt!

astonerii on March 28, 2012 at 3:53 PM

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Well, he did a “repeal and replace” event on the PPACA’s anniversary, and he made a similar speech 2 days ago. But I guess it’s still “dance, monkey, dance…”

If the guy doesn’t have any credibility with you at all, whatsoever, any more, I can see how he got there. I really can. But don’t ask in bad faith for the guy to continually assuage these concerns you have, because what you seem to be saying is they’re just insurmountable.

DrSteve on March 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM

But don’t ask in bad faith for the guy to continually assuage these concerns you have, because what you seem to be saying is they’re just insurmountable.

DrSteve on March 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM

I am not asking him to say anything. I am not asking that of Obama either. I don’t believe a word from either man and as you say…there is a very good reason for that.

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Yeah, I got my posters confused. Sorry!

DrSteve on March 28, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Yeah, I got my posters confused. Sorry!

DrSteve on March 28, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Not a problem.

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Given the state of Washington politics, my gut tells me that perhaps the best thing to do at this stage is bring in someone who will start by lobbing as many proverbial hand grenades at congress as possible. When nearly half of this country’s population is willing to flush the great experiment down the crapper for the sake of acquiring entitlements, I believe the desire to maintain politics as usual is a fool’s errand.

oldfiveanddimer on March 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Yes, that’s why we won’t vote ourselves out of this mess. It’s going to take a campaign of civil disobedience equal to or exceeding that of the civil rights movement of the 50′s and 60′s to even have a chance of moving the dial back.

ebrown2 on March 28, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Take yes for an answer, dude.

DrSteve on March 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM

It’s much easier to take yes for an answer when you can believe the guy who’s saying it.

swinia sutki on March 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I believe Mitt when he says that he wants a federal health-care mandate:

http://www.redstate.com/erick/2012/03/02/breaking-mitt-romney-urged-obama-to-embrace-the-individual-mandate/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M9gGwW2gCs

ebrown2 on March 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Yes, that’s why we won’t vote ourselves out of this mess. It’s going to take a campaign of civil disobedience equal to or exceeding that of the civil rights movement of the 50′s and 60′s to even have a chance of moving the dial back.

ebrown2 on March 28, 2012 at 7:40 PM

I have often times held back from conversation with others but my wife the belief that it is going to get much worse before it gets any better.

What concerns me is the utter surrender by so many to pure ideology – as if they are entitled to have everything their way – their way or they feel justified in attacking.

That attitude is the very antithesis of the one this country was founded on. Until like minded folks are willing to struggle, in mass, for purity – we will crawl inexorably towards tyranny – by whatever name.

We are still to damn comfortable I am afraid.

oldfiveanddimer on March 28, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Great! Bush, Dole, and McCain! Romney’s been endorsed by every living Republican to lose a Presidential election.

Any word on the coveted John Anderson endorsement?

Jingo95 on March 29, 2012 at 3:50 AM

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