George W. Bush calls Ryan ‘a strong pick'

ON A ROMNEY PRESS BUS SOMEWHERE IN VIRGINIA—In the hours since Mitt Romney announced he'd picked Paul Ryan to be his VP running mate, Romney aides have sent a barrage of statements from other high-profile Republicans applauding the pick.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. John McCain have all issued glowing statements praising the Ryan choice. But none seemed quite so unusual as a statement issued through the campaign by former President George W. Bush.

"This is a strong pick," Bush said. "Gov. Romney is serious about confronting the long-term challenges facing America, and Paul Ryan will help him solve the difficult issues that must be addressed for future generations."

Bush's statement was unexpected—in part because Romney has distanced himself from the former president, so much so that his campaign didn't even tout the endorsement Bush gave him back in May.

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