President Who?

The Republican contenders seem to have an aversion to the B-word.

Published October 11, 2007 2:09PM (EDT)

Number of times Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter uttered the word "Bush" during Tuesday night's two-hour debate in Michigan: 0.

Number of times Giuliani and Romney referred by name to Bill or Hillary Clinton: 16.

To be fair, the Los Angeles Times notes that GOP candidates Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback and Ron Paul each said "Bush" at least once during the debate. The context? Tancredo started to say something about the trade negotiators "for the Bush administration" but then stopped; Brownback said that the "Bush administration" has done well militarily but mishandled the political side of the Iraq war; and Paul asked why Republicans don't run on the "humble foreign policy and no nation-building" platform on which George W. Bush ran in 2000.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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