George W. Bush voices support for Romney

Former US President George W. Bush speaks during an event celebrating the success of dissidents and activists from around the world, hosted by the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Washington, DC, May 15, 2012. SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages

George W. Bush
SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages

(CBS News) Former President George W. Bush voiced his support for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign for the first time today, ABC News reports.

In a decidedly underwhelming fashion, the former president said to a reporter, "I'm for Mitt Romney," as the doors of an elevator closed on him. Mr. Bush was in Washington to deliver a speech on freedom and democracy at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

The presumptive Republican nominee has already been endorsed by Mr. Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush. The former president officially announced his endorsement in his Houston office with Romney at his side. Mr. George W. Bush's brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, also officially endorsed Romney in a statement.

Andrea Saul, a spokesman for the Romney campaign, said of the latest unofficial endorsement, "We welcome the president's support, as we welcomed his father's."

She added that Romney does not have any scheduled appearances with Mr. Bush, noting that the former president made clear when he left office that he was not going to engage in political campaigns.

Democrats used the news today to criticize Romney and link him to the former president. "George W. Bush endorses Mitt Romney--and why wouldn't he? Romney has endorsed Bush's policies and made them his own," the Democratic National Committee tweeted.

At the event on freedom and democracy today, Mr. Bush joked, "I actually found my freedom by leaving Washington. But it's good on occasion to be back and see old friends."

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