NOW with Alex Wagner | May 18, 2012
>>> can president bush be helpful to romney in certain places? absolutely. in certain places absolutely.
>> do you think that's true, michael steele .
>> what he can be helpful.
>> that george bush can be helpful to romney .
>> absolutely. he has a number of points he can help him make out there on the campaign trail which will benefit him.
>> leading voices from both parties think president george w. bush would be an asset to the romney campaign. bush has been absent from the republican 2012 playing field but this week he seems to be coming off the bench. there was tuesday's elevator endorsement of romney and talk on the arab spring and manner ideals. kasie, will we see hand holding between president bush and romney .
>> i was with romney why erl in florida this week and i was trying to tie obama to president bush . obama frequently says he inherited the economy from the predecessor. he's reluctant to the even speak bush's name.
>> robert, do you think republicans are coming around to george w. bush 's legacy.
>> he's traveled to africa for aids there's not there. there's probably going to be two or three more cycles before you see him actively campaigning for republican candidates. he helps him by one staying quiet and going to closed door fund-raisers. george bush is still a lightning rod on the democratic side, as well.
>> he's not just a liability to romney but also to congressional candidates. you can make the argument, well, so and so voted for the bush budget that got us into is this trouble. he continues to be a problem beyond just for mr. romney .
>> i mean, he's clearly -- the op-ed "the wall street journal " today talks about effectively nation building and the role of women . it's an interesting op-ed. he's clearly trying to cast himself as a humanitarian and less of a former president or focus less on the political side. but it is totally out of sync in terms of the dialogue around afghanistan and what we should be doing there.
>> i think that op-ed was careful really not to -- it was not an attack on obama for failing to do anything in particular. it was also not an endorsement of obama . it was trying to lay out broad principles around the middle east where burn's legacy is going to be decided. what's iraq going to be like in five or ten years, that's very much what his legacy will be judged on.
>> i feel like the current republican party has very little tolerance or embrace of the notion we should be spending more to build up the society in afghanistan or places where we have waged war.
>> there's recognition the country is tired of being at war. this makes this a politically difficult proposition. what you saw george bush lay out was an arcticculation of the foreign policy he implemented the voters rejected in 2008 .
>> this is one of the best kept secrets about george w. bush . conservative republicans never bought into the george w. bush presidency with the kraefths tsa, with immigration when it came to harriet miers on the supreme court , they never thought he was pure on the right issues and especially on nation building . he's perceived as much more moderate in republican circles than many people think.
>> we'll see more closing elevator doors. after the break, the future of the eurozone, withdrawal from afghanistan , a cease-fire in syria. there's plenty to discuss. former state department spokesman jamie ruben joins us to set the agenda for the g-8 and nato summits. that's next