>an editorial statement accusing him of unscrupulousness

I would have, rather, thought it was (yet another) comment on Bush's unwittedness. (to coin a word)

One usually punts, as a USn (which Bush is), on fourth down, when you have no more positive actions you can take without great risk.

INTRANSITIVE VERB: 1. To execute a punt. 2. Informal To cease doing something; give up: Let's punt on this and try something else.

I think the word was well chosen if the tenor of the editorial overall shows some political bias.