CPAC - George W Bush urged conservatives to support the Republican Party frontrunner but, at the request of John McCain, declined to actually speak his name.
"The stakes in November are high." Bush told the Conservative Political Action Conference. "So I can't tell you to vote for 'you know who'. He doesn't want anyone to think that voting for him will be voting for another four years of me."
Reaction was swift. "I'd like to thank George for not saying my name," said Republican frontrunner McCain, "I am especially grateful that he did not say I'd do a 'heck of a job'."
Speaking earlier, Vice-President Dick Cheney predicted a Republican victory in November. "We know where the votes are," he growled at reporters, "We spotted mobile laboratories to the north and south and east and west."