Former first lady Barbara Bush has not only endorsed Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, she’s taken an active role in giving him a Super Tuesday boost, recording robocalls on behalf of the former governor.
But like a surprising number of high-profile Romney supporters, Bush isn’t sticking to the campaign script.
The 2012 presidential campaign may have eight months to go, but former first lady Barbara Bush has already given it a bad review.
“I think it’s been the worst campaign I’ve ever seen in my life,” she said Monday at Southern Methodist University during a conference on the influence of the nation’s first ladies. “I hate that people think compromise is a dirty word. It’s not a dirty word,” she said.
Romney, of course, is the leading GOP candidate in “the worst campaign” Barbara Bush has ever seen. and he’s opposed compromises, even when tilted heavily in his favor. In other words, when the former first lady complains about her party’s nominating race, she’s implicitly expressing her disappointment with the same candidate she’s working to elect.
More important, though, is the larger context: Romney’s surrogates keep doing this.
As we talked about a few weeks ago, a Romney surrogate in Nevada thinks the candidate is wrong about housing policy; a surrogate in Michigan thinks Romney was wrong about the auto-industry rescue; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) contradicted Romney on the release of tax returns; Sen. John McCain (R) rejected Romney’s position on Taliban negotiations; and Romney backer Jon Huntsman has not only said Romney’s proposals regarding China are “wrongheaded”, he’s also said he wants “some sort of third-party movement or some alternative voice” to run against the candidate he’s already endorsed.
There’s been ample talk about Romney struggling to generate excitement among Republican voters, but let’s not overlook his related difficulty – even his own supporters aren’t always on the same page as Romney.