Thursday, June 07, 2007

Republican Presidential Candidates Put The Boot Into Bush

President Told Not To Darken The Doorstep Of The White House

Verbally kicking ten kinds of shit out of President Bush worked so well for the Democrats during the mid-term elections, last year, that nearly all the current Republican wannabe presidents decided it was their turn to have a go.

During last night's Republican presidential candidate debate, they took turns putting the boot into Bush with venom, and enthusiasm.

Pro-war Republican media flakes used to wail from the rooftops about how progressives and liberals were always trying to "Blame Bush" for the horrors of the Iraq War. Now it's the Republicans unfurling the "Blame Bush" banner, the right wing media has gone quiet. Of course, they're all too busy right now shredding the president over his immigration reforms.

From the Associated Press :

President Bush drew sporadic, startling criticism Tuesday night from Republican White House hopefuls unhappy with his handling of the Iraq war, his diplomatic style and his approach to immigration.

"I would certainly not send him to the United Nations" to represent the United States, said Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor and one-time member of Bush's Cabinet, midway through a spirited campaign debate.

Arizona Sen. John McCain criticized the administration for its handling of the Iraq War, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said, "I think we were underprepared and underplanned for what came after we knocked down Saddam Hussein."

Rep. Duncan Hunter (news, bio, voting record) of California said the current administration "has the slows" when it comes to building a security fence along the border with Mexico.

Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado recalled that White House aide Karl Rove had once told him "never darken the door of the White House." The congressman said he'd tell George W. Bush the same thing.

The criticism of Bush was more in keeping of the type of rhetoric that could be expected when Democratic presidential contenders debate.

Its prominence at the GOP event — while Bush was traveling overseas — was a reflection of his poor poll ratings and the need of even members of his own party to campaign on platforms of change.

Senator John McCain joined in the spate of Bush bashing regarding the Iraq War, despite admitting that he hadn't read the National Intelligence Assessment before casting a vote that helped make the war a reality.

McCain has long criticized Bush for fumbling the aftermath of Saddam's fall, and Romney has recently begun to make some of the same criticisms.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee added his voice to those criticizing the war effort. He added that the Bush administration "lost credibility" with its response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Thompson's answer was the most startling, coming from a man who had once served in the president's Cabinet as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Bush's decision to invade Iraq caused hard feelings with longtime allies in Europe, and elsewhere around the world.

Bush's support for the pending immigration legislation is the source of Tancredo's criticism, and the issue figured prominently in the debate.

Think Progress has highlighted Tom Trancredo's remarks about Bush, which were the more hard-hitting of the debate, and includes a video that shows the audience applauded him loudly for rounding on Bush :

TANCREDO: Some time ago, in 2003 I think it was, that I got a call from Karl Rove, who told me that, because of my criticism of the president, I should never darken the doorstep of the White House.

I have been so disappointed in the president in so many ways since his — actually for the last several years, not just the immigration issue, but several other things, including the No Child Left Behind and the massive increase in government that we call prescription drug — Medicare prescription drug, that I’m afraid I would have to tell the president of the United States — I mean, as president, I would have to tell George Bush exactly the same thing Karl Rove told me.