Former President George H. W. Bush added his name -- but not much else -- to the list of big-time Republican officials endorsing the New START treaty, which President Obama wants the Senate to ratify before going home for Christmas.
The former president’s office released a terse 11-word statement with hardly a word to spare. The statement said simply, “I urge the United States Senate to ratify the START treaty.”
Earlier in the day, after meeting in the Oval Office with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, Obama boasted of the many top national security officials he has lined up from past administrations, including former Secretaries of State Colin Powell, James A. Baker and George Shultz.
“I feel confident,” said Obama, “that when you’ve got previous secretaries of State, Defense, basically the entire national security apparatus of previous Democratic and Republican administrations... saying that the New START treaty is important, that we are going to be able to get it through the Senate.”
He also cited Komorowski’s support, calling it significant because of his country’s “thousand years of uneasy relations with Russia.”
He said quick ratification is “very important... so that we can continue the verification process that is so important in reducing risks throughout that region.”
A slew of major Republican administration officials have backed the nuclear arms accord, but former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney have declined to throw their clout behind it.