Ehrlich, Steele Absent From President's Md. Visit
President Bush swooped into Southern Maryland yesterday to mark Labor Day with a call to reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oil and develop technologies to help American workers and businesses compete in the changing global marketplace.
Bush heralded the 4.7 percent national unemployment rate as a "good sign" for workers in a speech centered on the domestic economy. The president, speaking at the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education in Piney Point, also urged lawmakers to make his tax cuts permanent.
But on a day considered the launching point of the fall election season, Maryland's top two Republicans -- Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele -- did not appear with the president in the St. Mary's County town. Their absence quickly became political fodder for Democrats, who accused the Republican officeholders of dodging the unpopular president even as they allow him to raise money for Ehrlich's bid for reelection and Steele's campaign for the U.S. Senate.[..]
Rick Abbruzzese, spokesman for Ehrlich's Democratic opponent,
Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, said, "One day off isn't going to
fool anybody that Bob Ehrlich is George Bush's biggest supporter." Read on...