Mitt Romney is attacking Rick Santorum for supporting George W. Bush's spending increases even as Romney relies on Bush economic adviser who are telling him to spend more money. Harvard's Glenn Hubbard and Gregory Mankiw, who both served as chairmen of Bush's Council of Economic advisers, are advising Romney, The Wall Street Journal's Sara Murray reports. They want lower tax rates to spur economic growth -- but unlike those who believe in supply-side economics, they don't think cutting taxes will bring the government more revenue. They also pushed Romney to propose a "sweeping" mortgage-refinancing program, but Romney didn't want another government program.

Discussion of the last Republican president has been absent for most of the Republican primary -- NBC News' Mark Murray called Bush "He Who Must Not Be Named" -- until Santorum became a serious challenger to Romney. Santorum's trouble difficulty explaining why he voted for the things the two-term Republican president wanted worry some on the right from The Wall Street Journal to Rush Limbaugh. At The JournalPaul Gigot writes:

It's also striking, if perhaps not surprising, how unpopular the Bush years have become among GOP voters. The election washouts of 2006 and 2008 have left a bitter taste and have tended to discredit most of the Bush domestic legacy, good and bad.

Mr. Romney is still the favorite of the Republican establishment, including most of those who worked for Mr. Bush who have become media commentators. But if Mr. Romney survives the Santorum challenge, one ironic reason will be Mr. Romney's ability as a former governor to distance himself from the Bush years."

Limbaugh says the same thing, if slightly more crudely:

"What [Santorum] meant by, 'Look, I voted all these times. I was a team player,' is: We had a Republican president, and all of us were practically forced to go along with all of his proposals and all of his spending; otherwise there would have been cracks in party unity; we would have had to deal with those allegations and charges. There was already enough criticism of Bush going on... 

To this day, if you run into Tom DeLay, he will tell you that the Medicare entitlement is the best thing that he did as a member of Congress. He will tell you that, and we don't do entitlements! The Republican Party doesn't do entitlements. But we did. Was that Medicare Part B, D, whatever, I forget. Title X, Title XX, Title 69?"

But if neither Santorum nor Romney want to look like Bush, they still don't seem to want to do anything all that different than Bush. Romney's leaning on Bush's economic advisers. When pressed, Santorum defends earmarks, saying some are good and some are bad. They don't want to be tied to Bush, but they don't have new ideas.

In a speech Thursday, the former president's brother, Jeb Bush, said, "I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I'm wondering, I don't think I've changed, but it's a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people's fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that's kind of where we are." But even that complaint is more about style than substance. On Friday, Romney gave a big economic speech in Detroit, at Ford Field, which seats 65,000. Unfortunately, only 1,200 were expected to attend, the Detroit Free Press reports, making it hard for the campaign to present it has a huge happy rally. Romney may have swiped Bush's economic advisers, but he hasn't yet used Bush's masters at staging photo-ops, as you can see from Neil King's tweet: