Mike Reagan: George W. was MIA
Democrats have been blaming George W. Bush for the last four years.
Now I think it’s time for Republicans to start blaming George W. for the next four years.
For a week we’ve been pinning last week’s debacle on everything from Mitt Romney’s moderation to low Republican turnout.
But the most important Republican who didn’t turn out to support Romney this fall was George W. Bush.
You can make an honest argument that G.W. was as much to blame as anyone else for our being unable to defeat an incompetent incumbent of historic proportions.
For four years Barack Obama has blamed the Great Recession on G.W. and used his presidency as his excuse for why the economy is taking so long to get fixed.
And where’s G.W. been? MIA or AWOL, take your pick.
He didn’t show up at the GOP convention. He didn’t become an enthusiastic surrogate for Romney in a handful of swing states where a few hundred thousand more Republican voters could have changed history. He didn’t stump for senatorial candidates in contested states such as Virginia and Montana.
G.W., the ex-cheerleader, was nowhere to be seen or heard during Romney’s campaign. What’s worse, he didn’t even defend his own economic record. He let the conservatives on talk radio and at Fox News do it.
The trouble is talk radio and Fox only reach about 20 million people during a week — and most of them are already in the conservative Republican choir.
Last I checked, 121 million Americans voted on Election Day. That left us Republicans with 101 million people who still needed to hear our message about who’s really to blame for the broken economy of 2008 to 2012.
We griped and moaned and pointed to Obama, but the mainstream liberal media were too busy protecting their hero to fairly tell our side of the story.
The only way conservatives can get the national news media to deliver our message to the American people is to go over the media’s heads. And the only people who can do that consistently are ex-presidents of the USA.
Bill Clinton became Obama’s best propaganda weapon. When Clinton claimed that no one, not even a super-genius like him, could have solved the economic problem G.W. Bush left Obama within four years, every voter in America heard it.
Even Jimmy Carter was hauled out of mothballs to help the Democrats.
The 2012 campaign was all about “the economy, stupid.” Obama blamed G.W. and Republicans. Plus, he had Clinton and Carter bashing G.W.’s record with their bully sticks every day and countering Romney’s arguments that Obama was to blame.
We should have had G.W. standing up and saying, “This is bull. I’m tired of this. This is what I did or did not do with the economy as president. The real culprits are Dodd & Frank and four years of Obama’s failed policies.”
Instead G.W. stayed quiet, even on the issue of Benghazi. Because he refused to show up and defend himself and his record, the Republican Party had to take arrows for him and we lost our second presidential election in a row.
The question I’d like to ask my fellow conservative Republicans is, if G.W. isn’t willing to stand up for his own presidency, why the heck should we?
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Email comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.