News / USA

Democrats Seek to Link Republican Opponents to Bush

Cindy Saine

With congressional elections coming up in November, some Democrats are hoping to tie their Republican opponents to the economic policies of former President George W. Bush.  Republicans counter that the midterm elections will be a referendum on the success of current President Barack Obama, and not on former President Bush.  

Members of the House of Representatives have already left Washington, D.C. to return to their home districts for the August recess, and senators are set to leave at the end of this week.  Lawmakers from both parties are already testing out their campaign messages, to see how they will play with voters back home.  President Obama may have signaled the strategy Democrats will favor. Speaking at a political event in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Obama said Republicans under former President George Bush were the ones who had driven the U.S. economy into the ditch [decline], and now they are asking voters to put them back in charge.

"They have not come up with a single, solitary new idea to address the challenges of the American people," said President Obama. "They don't have a single idea that is different from George Bush's ideas, not one. Instead they are betting on amnesia. That is what they are counting on, that you all forgot."

Senator John McCain of Arizona was the Republican presidential nominees who ran unsuccessfully against Mr. Obama for the White House in 2008.  Speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday, McCain told Mr. Obama to stop blaming everything on former President Bush.

"Look he can keep [saying] BIOB, no matter what it is, blame it on Bush, he can keep that up," said John McCain. "The American people are going to hold him accountable this November, not an administration that went out of power over a year and a half ago."

Senator McCain also criticized President Obama for, as McCain described it, taking credit for American military success in Iraq.  McCain pointed out that Mr. Obama opposed the Bush surge policy of deploying more troops to Iraq back when Obama was a senator running for president.  McCain said Mr. Obama was, in his words, so small-minded that he could not give a moment's credit to George W. Bush for success in Iraq.  In a speech earlier this week, President Obama reaffirmed that the U.S. is pulling all of its combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this month, saying the withdrawal is as he promised and on schedule.

Analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia says that Democratic candidates have just begun to use the strategy of telling voters that Republicans will take them back to the failed policies of former President Bush, and will likely step up this line of attack as the elections get closer.

"They believe that if they can remind people that this election is not simply a referendum on Obama, but a choice between Obama and the Bush Republicans, that the Democrats will do much better," said Larry Sabato.

Sabato said the campaign tactic of targeting an unpopular President from the other political party has plenty of precedents in American history.

"The Democrats including [former Presidents] Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman ran against [former President] Herbert Hoover for decades," he said. "The Republicans ran against [former President] Jimmy Carter for decades.  Certainly an unpopular president like [former President George] Bush is good for at least a few elections."

Analysts say Democrats are likely to face electoral losses in November, since the party that holds the White House traditionally loses seats during the first midterm elections after a presidential race.  And this time around, unemployment is hovering around ten percent across the country and the economy is still in uncertain waters.  With public opinion polls showing that President Obama's public approval rating is slipping, Republicans running in House, Senate and gubernatorial races may seek to tie their Democratic opponents to Mr. Obama.  

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs