MICHAEL STEELE, Maryland Candidate For Senate: Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a Republican who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Paul Sarbanes, told reporters that he would “probably not” want Bush to campaign for him. Steele called party affiliation a "scarlet letter" and "an impediment...a hurdle I have to overcome." Steele also said that the GOP-controlled Congress should "just shut up and get something done. Moreover, Steele said that the Iraq war "didn't work" and "we didn't prepare for the peace," that the response to Hurricane Katrina was "a monumental failure of government," and that "there's a palpable frustration right now in the country." [The Hill, 7/27/06; Capital (Annapolis, MD), 7/26/06] CONGRESSMAN CURT WELDON, (PA-7): Rep. Curt Weldon, who faces perhaps his toughest challenge since his first election to the House in 1986, chose not to appear at a Bush event in Pennsylvania. He told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that with Bush's poll numbers so low, "there's nothing the president can do to help me." The newspaper quoted Weldon as saying: "I've got to win this by myself." [Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/24/06] CONGRESSWOMAN THELMA DRAKE (VA-2): Congresswoman Thelma Drake, of Norfolk, Virginia, announced she had to remain in Washington for an "important vote'' on a military appropriations bill and miss President Bush's visit to her district. The bill passed by 395 votes to 0. [Daily Telegraph (London), 6/11/06]

SOUTH DAKOTA SENATOR JOHN THUNE: The leading candidate to head Senate Republicans' campaign arm in the next election cycle said that the Iraq war has taken a toll on Bush's popularity. Thune recently said that “If I were running in the state this year, you obviously don't embrace the president and his agenda.” Thune also told reporters that the Iraq war is Bush's biggest problem. "The first thing I'd do is acknowledge that there have been mistakes made," he said. He added that GOP candidates should identify aspects of Bush's Iraq policy with which they disagree and said "I would point those out and highlight them." [Associated Press Online,

PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR RICK SANTORUM: According to The Hill, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) “sought to portray themselves [himself] as independent yesterday without pushing away from Bush.” "When I agree with the president, I say so. When I disagree, I say so," said Santorum, who supported 100 percent of Bush's stated positions in 2004 and routinely scores in the high 90s in such tallies, according to Congressional Quarterly. [The Hill, 7/27/06] TEXAS SENATOR JOHN CORNYN: Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), identified by The Hill as “a close Bush ally,” said there is room for candidates to abide by the "moral commitment" the United States has made to the Iraq war and still create distance between themselves and the President on the issue. [The Hill, 727/06] CONGRESSMAN JIM GERLACH (PA-6): In response to an accusation from his opponent about being “very close to the administration,” Gerlach said ''We're not running away from the president. We're not running to the president. We're running for the House of Representatives. When we agree with the president, we talk about that, and when we disagree with the president, we'll talk about that.'' [New York Times, 6/6/06] JUDY BAAR TOPINKA, Illinois Candidate For Governor: At a political fundraiser keynoted by President George W. Bush, which generated $1.2 million for the campaign coffers of Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka, Topika sought to point out that she disagreed with Bush on some issues. Topinka said, "Now, does that mean we [Bush and Topinka] agree on everything? No, nobody agrees on everything. But on our basics we do agree, and I think he put a lot of those forward today." [Copley News Service, 7/7/06]

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger distanced himself from President Bush and fellow Republicans in Congress, seeking to avoid harm to his reelection effort from their declining political fortunes. Schwarzenegger challenged Bush on border security and global warming regulations. He publicly threatened to sue the Bush administration over Medicare regulations. He has tacitly sanctioned at least three other state lawsuits against the federal government. He demanded that Bush dispense more money to the state to cover the costs of disasters, immigration and welfare, and chastised Republican efforts in Congress to expand offshore oil drilling. He labeled actions by Bush and Congress as terrible, irresponsible, unacceptable and embarrassing. [Los Angeles Times, 5/19/06] CONGRESSMAN MIKE FITZPATRICK (PA-8): While U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick welcomed the president onstage at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel, he took much effort to point out his independence from the White House. "Why don't you ask the president if he's comfortable being beside one of the members of the majority who most often votes against him?" Fitzpatrick, a freshman, said in an interview. He noted that Congressional Quarterly had named him one of the top five House dissidents for voting against Bush's position 40 percent of the time. Fitzpatrick said those votes included opposition to the president's energy policy, because he said it did not do enough to encourage alternative fuels. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/24/06]

JUDY BAAR TOPINKA, Illinois Candidate For Governor: One of Topinka's aides recently said to conservative columnist George Will, "We just want him [Bush] to raise money, late at night, at an undisclosed location." [Fox Special Report With Brit Hume, Fox News Network, 7/7/06] CONGRESSMAN SCOTT GARRETT (NJ-5): Representative Garrett moved his fundraiser out of his district. Vice President Dick Cheney keynoted at a $1,000 per plate fundraising event at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria for New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett. The decision to head to New York to raise money for Congressman Garrett follows the cancellation of a similar fundraiser for Garrett’s campaign with Vice President Cheney in New Jersey earlier this month. [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 6/29/06; Wilkes Barre
Times Leader (Pennsylvania), 6/8/06]

TOM KEAN, New Jersey Senate Candidate: In March, Kean arrived at a reception featuring Dick Cheney only after the vice president had left. Kean blamed Route 1 traffic between Trenton and Newark, prompting questions about whether he was avoiding an unpopular administration figure, not to mention why he didn't take the turnpike. But Kean was early by a couple of hours when Laura Bush visited, whether speeded by the first lady's less prickly profile or the smooth travel afforded by the Garden State Parkway to the Ocean County event. His reward was expected to be about $500,000 for his campaign and state Republicans. [The Record (Bergen
County), 6/14/06]


Kean Did Not Ask President Bush for Fundraising Help. When asked if the president would be raising funds for him, Kean said, "We haven't had that conversation yet." [The Record (Bergen County), 6/14/06]

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