In a campaign speech in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Wednesday, Mitt Romney referred several times to former President George W. Bush as President Obama's "predecessor" -- but never invoked him by name.
Though he has touted the support of President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush on the campaign trail, Romney campaign hasn't jumped at the opportunity to name-check Bush. Bush told reporters Tuesday -- while elevator doors closed on him -- that he is backing Romney.
"We welcome the president's support, as we welcomed his father's," spokeswoman Andrea Saul told CNN. Bush's wasn't exactly an official endorsement, but the Romney camp usually touts the backing of high profile supporters.
Avoiding Bush isn't an accident. The former president, who still bears some blame for the recession, is something of a liability for the Romney campaign.