George W. Bush and Mitt Romney have connected.
Romney called Bush after the former president offered his fleeting support for the Republican candidate in an elevator this week, a person on Romney’s campaign tells ABC News.
The aide said that Romney thanked Bush for his endorsement.
The 43rd president, who has been in self-imposed political exile since leaving office, emerged on the campaign scene on Tuesday with a four-word endorsement of Romney. “I’m for Mitt Romney,” he told ABC News as the doors of an elevator closed on him following a speech he gave in Washington on human rights.
The Romney campaign offered no official press release of Bush’s support, signaling that the former president still carries too much baggage to help the current GOP candidate win voters.
The Obama campaign, on the other hand, jumped at the endorsement and tried to raise money off of it, asking supporters for donations. Obama’s team argues that Romney’s economic plan is the same as Bush’s plan.
The day after Bush’s impromptu plug, Romney didn’t mention the former president’s name once on the stump, even as he referred repeatedly to President Obama’s “predecessor.”
People close to Bush doubt that he is planning on campaigning with Romney. Bush’s brief public appearance on Tuesday was rare for an ex-president who, unlike Bill Clinton, has chosen to spend his post-presidential life in private.