Washington: With US President Barack Obama`s approval rating remaining low, the Republican Party in a bid to boost its popularity has come out with "I MISS W" t-shirts emblazoned with a picture of former president George W Bush.
Bush`s reputation was in a sorry state when he left the White House in 2009, but the Republican National Committee (RNC) is betting five-plus years of President Obama have been enough to change that.
In a new fundraising pitch timed to coincide with Bush`s July 6 birthday, the RNC is selling t-shirts emblazoned with a picture of the former president next to the caption "I MISS W."
"President George W Bush led our nation through some of the most challenging moments of our nation`s history and we miss him and his leadership," explains a page on the RNC`s website where users can buy the shirt.
"By sporting this comfortable, classic, American-made tee, you can share our message and help us elect principled conservative leaders to office," it says.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted a link to the fundraising pitch on Saturday, complaining that Obama "thinks our country should lead from behind," and urging people to "Restore GOP leadership & get this t-shirt."
Though Bush`s approval ratings have climbed steadily northward since he left office, he remains among the most unpopular presidents since World War II, according to a Quinnipiac poll released this week.
According to the survey, 52-year-old Obama of the Democratic Party, now in his second term, is the worst president since World War II, with 33 per cent of American voters backing it.
Another 28 per cent picked Bush as the worst president of the post-war era.
Obama`s job approval rating, inching up since a negative 38 - 57 per cent in December, 2013, his all-time low, is stalled at a negative 40 - 53 per cent. This compares to the president`s negative 42 - 50 per cent job approval in an April 2 national survey.