(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) – Never once mentioning President George W. Bush by name, or acknowledging that the former president endorsed his candidacy Tuesday, Mitt Romney spent the morning in Florida railing President Obama for not doing enough to solve the debt crisis he inherited from his “predecessor.”
“I love this country as I know you do, but I’m concerned about this country. I’m concerned about the debt. I’m concerned about the spending,” said Romney, who is on his first public campaign swing in the battleground state since winning the primary here in January. “I find it incomprehensible that a president could come to office and call his predecessor’s record irresponsible and unpatriotic and then do almost nothing to fix it.”
Bush told ABC News Tuesday, as an elevator door closed, “I’m for Mitt Romney,” joining the rest of his family in backing the presumptive GOP nominee. But since then the Romney campaign, and now the candidate, has remained mum on the endorsement.
Instead, Romney mentioned Obama’s “predecessor,” insinuating Bush, no fewer than five times in talking about the debt crisis.
“[Obama] was very critical of his predecessor for the debts his predecessor put in place,” said Romney. “And sure it’s true you can’t blame one party or the other for all the debts this country has, because both parties in my opinion have spent too much and borrowed too much when they were in power. But he was very critical of his predecessor because the predecessor put together $4 trillion of debt over eight years. This president however – oh by the way, he said that doing that was unpatriotic, irresponsible and unpatriotic. And he said he would cut the debt in half if he became president.”
“Instead he doubled it, alright, he doubled it,” said Romney.
The National Debt shot up nearly $5 trillion during the Bush administration, and has increased by about the same amount under the Obama administration, according to the Treasury Department. The debt, however, was greatly affected by the onset of the recession, which began during the Bush administration.
Romney made no mention of his own economic background – or his years at Bain Capital – during his remarks Wednesday.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio