I'm with Poodles. I hope he tries to help!
MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. — Republican presidential candidates can't be any more clear: President Bush isn't welcome on the campaign trail.
Competing to succeed him, top GOP candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and John McCain barely utter Bush's name. They essentially ignore the lame-duck president, or give him only passing credit, as they rail against the status quo and promise to fix problems he hasn't solved.
"We all know Americans want change," said McCain, an Arizona senator, explaining the aversion to aligning with Bush. "I give him credit for a number of things but I think the fact is Americans are turning the page, including our Republican primary voters."
The candidates are walking a fine line. They are trying to tap into the deep discontent those voters feel about the state of the country without alienating any who hold Bush in high regard. At the same time, they have to counter the Democrats' powerful arguments for a new direction.