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Michael Steele on Principles & Values

 


Proud to be a Republican and not running away from the party

Everybody in the world knows I'm a Republican. [So the question is,] what are you going to do as a senator? And part of what I've seen in Washington is exactly what's represented here today. Old Washington, old ways, an old mind-set that polarizes, that wants to say, you know, "When we take control." You know, how about the country? How about the interest of the country? How about we creating a bipartisan - what I did not hear on the Iraq subject, for example, is a move towards a bipartisan consensus.
Source: 2006 Maryland Senate debate on Meet the Press Oct 29, 2006

Campaigns are about the man, not just about the issues

Q: You said this campaign really isn't that much about the issues, and that your personal view on abortion is moot. If not the issues, what then?

STEELE: I'm not discounting the issues, they're clearly important. But it's not JUST about the issues; it's also about the man--their personal journey and their story, and how they arrive at decisions. I look at the totality of what we're talking about for the next 6 years. You want to get a sense of who I am and what I stand for.

Source: MD 2006 3-way Senate Debate on NewsChannel 8 Oct 25, 2006

For Cardin to call himself a change agent is laughable

Q: Is the most important thing who holds the gavel in Congress?

CARDIN: Yes. We need to change the agenda-setters. I stood up for change in Washington. I took on the President when he was wrong. I've worked across party lines. But we need to change the direction.

STEELE: For Ben Cardin to say he's a change agent is laughable. He's been in Congress for 20 years. To all of a sudden say you're interested in change is just not believable. Where's the voice been? Where's the voice on transportation, on health care? These voices I have not heard. Now to say that you're for changing the system, when you've been part of the system that gave us these problems, is laughable.

CARDIN: I'm proud of my record in Congress. Proud of the changes I've made in Medicare & the retirement system.

ZEESE: I think both of you are right. You're both selected by your party leadership. You're both in bed with the special interests. And you're both not going to bring change to Washington. The voters need to know that.

Source: MD 2006 3-way Senate Debate (X-ref Cardin) Oct 25, 2006

Cardin was hand-selected by Rep. Steny Hoyer

CARDIN: The Lt. Governor was recruited by George Bush, and Bush helped finance his campaign for Senate. The Lt Gov agrees with Bush's agenda. That's not the type of change we need in Washington.

STEELE: The Congressman has been running against George Bush for a year, but Bush is not here. You talk about hand-picked-you were hand-picked by Congressman Steny Hoyer to get in this race. If not for Hoyer, Kweise Mfume would be sitting here. He was the first to enter this race, and he stuck his neck out. You've been shepherded around the state by Steny Hoyer. When you talk about who's hand-picked, not me, friend, you.

CARDIN: You're the one who identifies with George Bush. You brought Bush into Maryland to raise a half-million. You're the one who supports his agenda.

STEELE: Stop running against George Bush. Run against me and my record as Lt. Gov.

CARDIN: I won a competitive primary and Kweise Mfume is supporting me for the US Senate, because he knows I'll bring change to Washington.

Source: MD 2006 3-way Senate Debate (X-ref Cardin) Oct 25, 2006

Knew difference between having dollars & having values

My mother grew up the daughter of sharecroppers. She had to quit school in the 5th grade to work on a farm. She married a man who died of alcoholism at an early age leaving her to raise her son alone. She later married my step-dad, who willingly took on the responsibilities of family.

My mom worked 45 years in a Laundromat making minimum wage and still managed to put her kids through parochial school. She never took a penny of public assistance because as she put it, she didn't want the government raising her kids.

She knew the value of a dollar; and by that I mean, she knew the difference between just having dollars and having values. For her, there was value in raising a family and believing she could offer something more for her children.

You could say that the Turner household was a rich home. Rich beyond our bank account. It was rich in character. Rich in ambition and drive. And rich in turning hope into action. Because of her, I have a relentless drive to turn hope into action.

Source: Candidacy announcement speech in Largo MD Oct 25, 2005

Independent-minded bridge between two parties

Just listen to what the evening news tells us... Red states must be red. Blue states must be blue. Black always black and white always white. It may look that way to Washington... But I know that is not the view from main street Maryland.

For too long, one party worried more about prices in the stock market than prices in the corner market... And too many in the other party preached reconciliation at the same time they practiced division.

The gap between Washington and our families is real. The disconnect between elected leadership and the people is real. The need for a new bridge is real.

A bridge that not only brings both parties together but more importantly, brings both parties closer to all of us. I am going to the United States Senate to be that bridge. I believe Maryland is ready for an independent minded United States Senator. A Senator who has walked a different path.

Source: Candidacy announcement speech in Largo MD Oct 25, 2005

Empower people, instead of empowering government

It is right that good people rise up and say... enough with the political games... enough with sound-bites in place of solutions... enough with the same old status quo.

It is time to heal our divisions. It is time to empower people, instead of empowering government. It is time to change the culture of our nation's capital. And that's why I am certain it is time for me to run for the United States Senate.

Source: Candidacy announcement speech in Largo MD Oct 25, 2005

Studied for priesthood and briefly took vows at a monastery

Q: What did you do after graduating?

A: When I graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1981, I entered the monastery to study for the priesthood.

Q: An Augustinian monastery--where?

A: Villanova. Spent about a year at Villanova, taught at one of our Augustinian high schools. And did my novitiate up in Lawrence, MA, and working with the Hispanic community there and studying theology. And I left the order right before I was to take several vows.

Q: Why did you get into it in the first place?

A: It was something I was called to do. I look back on it now and see it as a period of preparation - for what, at the time, I didn't know. Part of that process is figuring out, do I serve the community and God in a religious habit, or do I serve Him in a business suit? But I think my time in the monastery really prepared me for the rigors of politics and the rough-and-tumble of trying to effect policy and create change in our stagnant, moribund system that we had in Maryland.

Source: Interview by Brian Lamb on C-Span's Q&A Feb 27, 2005

Suffered thrown Oreos during Lt. Gov. race

Q: Let me read from the Baltimore Sun: "Mr. Ehrlich's running mate, state GOP chairman Michael Steele, brings little to the team but the color of his skin." What was your reaction when you read that?

A: It was just pure ignorance. It's something I had to put up with countless times - to have a state Democratic leadership senate president call me an Uncle Tom, a member of Congress from Maryland calling me a token.

Q: Who called you an Oreo?

A: They didn't call me an Oreo. At the debate, the partisans on the other side threw Oreo cookies at my feet as I was walking out of the building, as a symbol that I'm black on the outside, white on the inside. What was disturbing about that was, it put a blemish mark on the university - Morgan State University - because it wasn't the African-American students. It was some union folks that the Kennedy Townsend campaign had brought into the state. And they thought it was cute. But it was, again, showing a high level of ignorance and racism.

Source: Interview by Brian Lamb on C-Span's Q&A Feb 27, 2005

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Michael Steele on other issues:
MD Gubernatorial:
Martin O`Malley
Robert Ehrlich
MD Senatorial:
Barbara Mikulski
Benjamin Cardin
Daniel Vovak
Kevin Zeese
Kweisi Mfume
Paul Sarbanes

2004 Presidential:
Pres.George W. Bush
Sen.John Kerry
Ralph Nader

2008 possibilities:

Sen.Hillary Clinton
Sen.John Edwards
Sen.Russ Feingold
Rudy Giuliani
V.P.Al Gore
Sen.Barack Obama
Sen.John McCain


2006 Senate retirements:
Jon Corzine(D,NJ)
Mark Dayton(DFL,MN)
Bill Frist(R,TN)
Jim Jeffords(I,VT)
Paul Sarbanes(D,MD)
2006 Senate Races:
(AZ)Kyl v.Pederson
(CA)Feinstein v.Mountjoy
(CT)Lieberman v.Lamont v.Schlesinger
(DE)Carper v.Ting
(FL)Nelson v.Harris
(HI)Akaka v.Thielen
(IN)Lugar v.Osborn
(MA)Kennedy v.Chase
(MD)Cardin v.Steele v.Zeese
(ME)Snowe v.Bright
(MI)Stabenow v.Bouchard
(MN)Kennedy v.Klobuchar
(MO)Talent v.McCaskill
(MS)Lott v.Fleming v.Bowlin
(MT)Burns v.Tester
(ND)Conrad v.Grotberg
(NE)Nelson v.Ricketts
(NJ)Menendez v.Kean
(NM)Bingaman v.McCulloch
(NV)Ensign v.Carter
(NY)Clinton v.Spencer
(OH)DeWine vBrown
(PA)Santorum v.Casey
(RI)Chafee vWhitehouse
(TN)Ford v.Corker
(TX)Hutchison v.Radnofsky
(UT)Hatch v.Ashdown
(VA)Allen v.Webb
(VT)Sanders v.Tarrant
(WA)Cantwell v.McGavick v.Guthrie
(WI)Kohl v.Vogeler v.Redick
(WV)Byrd v.Raese
(WY)Thomas v.Groutage
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