On Republican National Convention stage, nettlesome issues unmentioned
GAY MARRIAGE: Republicans once saw opposition to same-sex marriage as a winning issue for the party, one that helped galvanized conservative Christian voters and brought them to the polls. But this year, expect no discussion of same sex marriage onstage at the convention even though the GOP platform backs a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Polling shows a growing number of Americans now support gay nuptials, particularly younger people whose votes Romney is hoping to woo. Obama carried the youth vote overwhelmingly against Republican John McCain in 2008 but Republicans believe they can make inroads among young people discouraged by the weak economy.
GEORGE W. BUSH: He served two terms as president and left office less than four years ago, but Bush is virtually a ghost at the Republican gathering as polls show many voters continue to hold him accountable for the nation's economic problems. Bush also serves as an uncomfortable reminder for Republicans of the heavy government spending and debt incurred during his presidency. Democrats, for their part, have tried to yoke Romney to Bush, suggesting he would restore many of the former president's policies if elected.
Republicans planned to air a short tribute video to Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, but have otherwise steered clear of invoking his legacy. Instead, they're showcasing popular figures from the Bush era like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the former president's brother Jeb Bush, a onetime governor of Florida.
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