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MLK with the RNC

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman joined Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele at the Hope Christian Church in Lanham today to pay tribute to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. And while Steele stuck mostly to personal reflections on the civil rights leader, Mehlman used much of his time at the microphone promoting both the president, and Steele's candidacy for U.S. Senate.

Speaking to a crowd of about 850 parishioners, Mehlman ticked off a number of Steele's accomplishments in office, including what he said was a 60 percent increase in scholarship money for African American students, and the creation of new rules dictating when government contractors must field out work to small or minority-owned businesses.

He also made this unexpected claim: "You know the airport we all travel out of? The Thurgood Marshall BWI airport has that name for a good reason. It's thanks to this good man," Mehlman said pointing to Steele. (That bill was championed by Baltimore Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., passed by a Democratic legislature and signed by the governor. The lieutenant governor had no formal role in the naming.)

After the event Mehlman made clear his visit to the MLK event should be taken as a sign that the national Republican party is committed to a Steele candidacy, and believes firmly that the candidate can prevail in November. He cited a recent Rasmussen Reports poll that showed Steele trending ahead of potential Democratic opponents.

"It's a race we take seriously," Mehlman said.

By  |  January 16, 2006; 4:22 PM ET
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give it up for the republican party!

Posted by: TJ | January 17, 2006 12:40 AM | Report abuse

So I guess Team BushCo has just given up the pretense that they can a)understand the political concerns of African Americans and b) speak to them on any meaningful level beyond lying to them about the achievements of a GOP candidate. I'm glad that Mehlman has finally figured that all out.

Posted by: eRobin | January 17, 2006 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Well gee Erobin, it would appear that you think the Democrat Party has been doing some for African Americans all these years when we've arrived at a time in history where tragically more black men are unemployed than at the time of MLK's famous 'I Have a Dream' speech. Then the tenacity to call the Lt Governor racist names, steal his credit report, etc--just grow up. Team RobinCo seems bent on slamming two republicans for reaching out--are they late to the game, definitely, but don't slam people for trying, that's just idiotic.

Posted by: George | January 19, 2006 3:03 AM | Report abuse

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