Actually, they walked the walk on social issues. Bush Sr. vetoed bill after bill after bill that the left sent up, because there was pro-abortion language in them. Bush Jr. affirmed the DOMA and signed every piece of pro-life legislation put before him. He tried to reform Fannie and Freddie, SS, and institute faith based initiatives. He cut taxes. He defended America after 9-11.
As has been the case with most every GOP Senate Majority leader (Dole, Frist, etc....), and many of our recent presidential nominees (Dole, McCain, Romney), Republicans get into trouble when they agree with Democrats too often, or in the case of Romney - promise to.