Skip to comments.Bush Stumps for GOP Gubernatorial Candidates in Mississippi, Kentucky
Posted on 11/01/2003 8:47:07 AM PST by Theodore R.
Bush stumps for GOP gubernatorial candidates in Mississippi, Kentucky By DEB RIECHMANN Associated Press Writer November 1, 2003
CRAWFORD, Texas - In a test of his popularity a year before his own race for re-election, President Bush is standing with Republican gubernatorial candidates trying to replace Democrats in Mississippi and Kentucky.
Bush's agenda included campaign stops Saturday in Mississippi for former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour, who is trying to unseat Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. The president planned to visit Southaven and Gulfport, two GOP strongholds at opposite ends of the state.
In Kentucky, the president was to visit Paducah and London to lend support to Rep. Ernie Fletcher, considered the Republicans' best chance in years to capture governor's office it hasn't won since 1967.
Victory for both candidates on Tuesday would raise the number of Republican governors to 29, including California Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, to the Democrats' 21.
RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie says the apparent strength of Barbour and Fletcher _ they're ahead of their Democratic opponents in most recent polls _ is a good sign for the Bush-Cheney team in 2004. He stops short of suggesting a national wave of support for Republican candidates because of Bush's standing, but he says he's confident about the GOP's chances in Kentucky and Mississippi, and a runoff election in Louisiana Nov. 15.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan twice dodged questions Friday about whether Bush is risking political capital by inserting himself into governors' races in two states he won handily in 2000 with more than 55 percent of the vote.
This is Bush's fifth trip to Kentucky and third to Mississippi.
"The president strongly supports those who share his compassionate conservative philosophy, those who are committed to improving education and strengthening our economy and committed to reaching out to faith-based groups to help people in need," McClellan said in Crawford, where Bush is staying at his ranch.
A GOP victory in Kentucky would hand Republicans the governorship for the first time in three decades. Fletcher is promoting himself as an agent of change to Democratic incumbent Gov. Paul Patton, who is barred from seeking a third term. His Democratic opponent, Attorney General Ben Chandler, is trying to convince voters that he stands apart from Patton, who admitted to an extramarital affair and is being sued by a former mistress.
In Mississippi, the GOP has dispatched Republican leaders throughout the state to help Barbour unseat incumbent Musgrove.
Among the backers: Vice President Dick Cheney, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Well, past experience says that it's a good thing to have Bush campaign for you, and a bad thing to have clinton campaign for you. So, I wonder why reporters never ask clinton this question?
Bill, Hillary, Daschle, Gore, any of the nine dwarves, come on down!!!!
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