The Ticket

Romney: ‘President Bush and I are different people’

Eric Pfeiffer
The Ticket
FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2004 file photo, President George W. Bush is introduced by Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Nashua, N.H. Expect Bush to stay far away from this year's presidential election. Romney's campaign doesn't foresee the 43rd president playing any substantive role in the race over the next six months and the GOP candidate's aides are carefully weighing how much the former president should be involved in this summer's GOP convention _ and for good reason. The Bush fatigue that was a drag on GOP nominee John McCain four years ago clearly still lingers, even among Republicans.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2004 file photo, President George W. Bush is introduced by Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Nashua, N.H. Expect Bush to stay far away from this year's presidential election. Romney's campaign doesn't foresee the 43rd president playing any substantive role in the race over the next six months and the GOP candidate's aides are carefully weighing how much the former president should be involved in this summer's GOP convention _ and for good reason. The Bush fatigue that was a drag on GOP nominee John McCain four years ago clearly still lingers, even among Republicans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

An audience member at the second presidential debate, Susan Katz, asked Gov. Mitt Romney to describe the biggest policy differences between himself and former President George W. Bush.

Describing herself as an undecided voter who supported President Barack Obama in 2008, Katz said she's disappointed in the current political climate but blames much of today's economic situation on Bush's policies.

"President Bush and I are different people and these are different times," Romney said, noting several differences: his policy on China; balancing the budget; and focusing on small business.

"I'll crack down on China, President Bush didn't," Romney said. "I'm also going to dramatically expand trade in Latin America. It's been growing about 12 percent per year over a long period of time. I want to add more free trade agreements so we'll have more trade. Number three, I'm going to get us to a balanced budget. President Bush didn't."

"Governor, you're the last person who's going to get tough on China," Obama countered, saying private companies Romney has supported do business there.

Obama then said Romney and Bush have nearly identical economic plans, but said Bush was more of a moderate on other issues.

"There are some things where Governor Romney is different from George Bush," Obama said, citing immigration, Medicare and contraception. "In some ways, he's gone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policy."

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