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Steele, Bush in Montgomery--But Not Together

Democratic Party Chairman Terry Lierman poked fun at Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele yesterday for being "so petrified" of being seen with President Bush that they tend to "schedule out of town fundraising jaunts" during his visits to Maryland.

Ehrlich (R) was in New York for a fundraiser, but Steele, the GOP Senate nominee, was less than four miles away in Bethesda during the president's appearance at a school safety conference in Chevy Chase.

Steele, who was speaking at a Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club luncheon, threw up his arms, spun around and chuckled at the suggestion that he was avoiding the president.

"My official office wasn't contacted," he said. "The president's got his schedule. The president knows we're in the middle of a major campaign. So, it's nice to know he's here. I'm here at the Rotary doing my thing."

When asked if he would be doing any campaign appearances with the president before next month's election, Steele said, "At this point in time, I'm not focusing on the national folks coming in. ..... This race is going to rise or fall or be won or lost on my back, no one else's, and I wish people would appreciate that."

In an ad released today, Cardin played up the Bush-Steele link. A narrator tells viewers:

The truth about Michael Steele? Check the facts:

Recruited by Bush and Cheney.

Taken six million in special interest money.

Supports Bush's plan to privatize social security and Bush's war in Iraq.

Now Steele wants you to believe he'll follow his own convictions.

The truth?

Then a clip from Republican National Convention shows Steele proclaiming: "The standard bearer of these convictions is George W. Bush."

Ann E. Marimow

By Phyllis Jordan  |  October 11, 2006; 9:26 AM ET
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So the Democrats attack Steele for being with G.W. (see tv ad) then attack Steele for not being with G.W. Make up your mind!!

To all Democrat campaign managers: G.W. is not running for Governor, Lt. Governor, Congress, Senate, Comptroller, Mayor, Council, Class President, or Homecoming King. So please, stop focusing your ads on him. If you can't figure out who you're even running against, why should I vote for you?

Posted by: B.F. | October 11, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

B.F. - "If you can't figure out who you're even running against, why should I vote for you?" In case you forgot, Mr. Steele has been running AGAINST both the president and Congressman Cardin for quite some time. Seems to me that it is Mr. Steele who has the problem figuring out which person he's running against, making your decision that much more difficult.

And, on that note, why is Mr. Steele trying to run against the culture in Washington when Washington is run by drum roll please . . . REPUBLICANS. They control, in case you forgot, the White House, Senate, and House, not to mention the Supreme Court and a plethora of judicial branches. So, isn't Mr. Steele sending a somewhat obtuse message? Saying I'm running against my own party, because I want change, but how can you accomplish any change if all of a sudden you become part of the club?

Mr. Steele, do us all a favor and just campaign as the true, right wing Republican you are: for "stay the course" in Iraq, for this president's tax cuts, for his unfunded mandate, No Child Left Behind, etc. etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 11, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Steele clearly wants to run as an "outsider", even though he is a member of the party in power in Washington.

He assiduously resists identifying himself as the REPUBLICAN candidate for the Senate in his advertisements.

A non-Republican outsider? Michael Steele? That would be a difficult illusion to maintain if he appeared alongside the Republican President, wouldn't it?

Therefore, Mr. Steele remains in Bethesda, while the President--the leader of his party--is four miles away, in Chevy Chase.

Somebody may fall for this, but it won't be me!

Posted by: A. H. | October 11, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Since his "official office wasn't contacted" , does this mean GWB has written off Steele? Is that a form of "cut and run" ? Or that Steele's office is so inept that they didn't know the President was coming? Or that they wanted to run as far away from GWB as possible, even if it was only four miles ?
And Bobby Hairspray was in NYC raising money? From out of state supporters? Who are they Bobby? Slot machine manufacturers?
What a circus!!

Posted by: jmsbh | October 11, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Why would Steele be at a School Safety Conference?

Posted by: ?? | October 11, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

That "We hate Bush" platform worked sooooo well for the Dems in 2004. I hope they liked the taste of defeat last time because the voters are going to serve up a lot more for them.

Posted by: Rufus | October 11, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Why is the far left so angry? Moreover, they let their anger take their discourse way off the issues. How many articles have to be written by this newspaper and the Baltimore Sun that attempts to tie either Ehrlich or Steele to the President are failing. Run on the issues! Oh wait, they can't. They will lose every time.

Posted by: Confused | October 11, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Confused: I am confused! you means that brothers Erlich and Steele are not "tied" to our great President? Gee, Brother Bush is in more trouble than I thought.

Rufus: Not in this election and not in the great state of Maryland!!

Posted by: AH | October 11, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

To the person who is obviously confused: you picked an apt title for yourself. Next time, why don't you select dumbfounded, because that's how you're going to feel on election day.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 11, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

If my "homeboy" were 4 miles away, I'd certainly stop by to at least say hi.

Posted by: jules | October 11, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I just saw the ad. Its absolutely perfect. The way they link Steele's core convictions to his speech at the RNC. Brilliant.

Posted by: nickshepDEM | October 11, 2006 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Let's review the campaign: Ehrlich and Steele started by claiming that they weren't really Republicans. That wasn't exactly true, so their opponents pointed out that they've supported some of the most unpopular policies of an unpopular Republican president. What's the problem? Of course, it's backfired a bit: Steele got caught badmouthing the Beloved Leader of All Republicans, saying that Bush was a liability for Republican candidates, and now he's not getting support from the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee--but that could be because he's fifteen points down in the polls with less than a month to go.
Republicans need to get over it: Many of your candidates are going down. Even senior Republicans in Congress and White House political folks are saying that they expect heavy losses, so brace yourself, Rufus. And by the way, I'm hoping that a Democratic congress won't give your Beloved (Incompetent and Corrupt) Leader free rein the way the Republican congress has.

Posted by: replay | October 11, 2006 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I see che still knows how to cut-and-paste his off-topic nonsense.

And I'm certainly enjoying the falling gas and oil prices! We can expect that to stop if the Dems win.

Posted by: Rufus | October 12, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Its not nice to be ashamed of your friends and "family" Mr. Steele. Just ask Senator George Allen. You ought to be proud to stand with your fellow Republicans and President Bush or leave the party. The voters don't let you have it both ways. We all have to pick.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how loudly the leftists are going to caterwaul now that Steele has come out with his objections to Bush's educational policies (no longer associated with Sen Kennedy in the WaPo, mind you).

They cry (boo hoo, boo hoo) that Steele won't oppose Bush on anything and, now that he has, what will we hear? Yeah, boo hoo boo hoo, he hasn't challenged enough.

Posted by: Rufus | October 13, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

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