The Associated Press says that Republican politicians are fleeing President Bush as from the plague, while quietly benefiting from his fundraising:
Many worried Republicans on the ballot in November have been pushing away from the White House, not wanting to be dragged under by President Bush’s sinking approval ratings and growing anxiety over Iraq. That doesn’t mean they’re also fleeing his cash offerings, however.
Despite approval ratings in the mid-to-upper 30s, Bush remains the nation’s most successful fundraiser. Vice President Dick Cheney, whose poll numbers are even lower than Bush’s, is not far behind. Both have raised tens of millions of dollars for GOP congressional and gubernatorial candidates running in this year’s midterm elections.
Reporters wouldn’t want a day to go by, of course, without referring to the President’s “sinking approval ratings” and the voters’ “growing anxiety over Iraq.”
One of the Republican politicians who, according to the AP, dodged appearing with President Bush in public while benefiting from the President’s fundraising is our own Mark Kennedy. The AP writes:
Last month, GOP Senate candidate Mark Kennedy in Minnesota did not attend an appearance by Bush at a 3M Corp. plant outside Minneapolis, but joined him later at a fundraiser.
Mark’s campaign manager wrote us to point out that this is false. On February 2, the date of Bush’s visit to 3M, Congressman Kennedy was in Washington, where, among other things, the Republican caucus voted on a new Majority Leader. The AP’s statement that Kennedy attended a fundraiser with the President later that day is flatly wrong, as is the implication that Kennedy stayed away from the 3M event to distance himself from the President. Kennedy did, in fact, attend a fundraiser with Bush, but that was on December 9, nearly two months before the President’s February visit to St. Paul, not later the same day.
But, hey, it’s a good theory–if the facts don’t fit it, make them up.