Thursday, May 3, 2007

Jon Martin from the Politico.Com

May 03, 2007

Romney calls Bush

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- On the same day that the House of Representatives failed to override his veto of a bill forcing U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, President Bush got a hang-in-there call from former Gov. Mitt Romney.

An adviser to Romney said the presidential hopeful reached out to "commend the president for his veto" and to salute his "principled leadership in the war on terror."

Chatting for less than 10 minutes, Bush and Romney also talked about the candidate's appearance tonight on Jay Leno and tomorrow's debate.

While Bush's parents are said to be sweet on Romney, the president has been studiously neutral about any preferences he may have.

Romney, for his part, has offered mild criticism of the Iraq war, but has largely avoided much talk about Bush on the campaign trail.

But the Romney adviser who relayed the conversation made plain that they weren't seeking to distance themselves from a chief executive who still retains support from loyal Republicans.

"On the eve of this debate, it says we're not running from this guy at all," said the adviser on the meaning of the call.

UPDATE: McCain's camp declined to comment on the call, which clearly was done in part to create a bit of daylight between the two candidates on the Bush Factor. McCain, though a vocal proponent of the president's new policy in Iraq, used his announcement last week to offer criticism on the administration's handling of the war, Katrina and Walter Reed.

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