“Yeah, sure, I’ll vote for Mitt Romney. Whatever,” may as well have been former president George W. Bush’s words Tuesday when ABC News asked him who he is endorsing for president.
Actually, he said, verbatim, “I’m for Mitt Romney,” as elevator doors closed on him, in perhaps the most unenthusiastic presidential endorsement of all time.
Bush’s tepid endorsement doesn’t come as much of a surprise, since Romney is all but confirmed as the GOP nominee. But the former president has stayed out of the public eye since leaving office in 2009, preferring a low-key lifestyle in Dallas to playing politics in Washington.
He was in Washington, D.C. to promote the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s global human rights campaign.
His parents, former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, pledged their support to Romney in a televised endorsement in March, but the 43rd president has made no such public announcement, preferring to keep his priorities on his educational and human rights campaigns.
Just before Bush left office in 2008, his approval rating was just 20 percent — the lowest of any president since the Gallup poll started in 1938. Since he resumed his private citizenship, his approval rating has gone up slightly.
Former Bush advisor Mark McKinnon explained his old boss’s low profile this way to ABC in March: “President Bush is working quietly on issues he cares about and doing so in a way that is serious, dignified and respectful. Being back in the political spotlight simply doesn’t put the focus where he wants it these days.”
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