Michael Steele on Principles & Values
Republican challenger, Lt. Gov.
The responsibility of Republican voters is to elect principled Republicans and hold them accountable. Our party's accommodationism--call it "Democrat-lite Republicanism"--paved the way for the attempt at a full-blown liberal restoration we're seeing today. After all, why vote for faux Democrats when you can have the real thing in the form of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama?
Two decades after the Reagan triumph, is that really the best we can do? Hell no.
The greatest opportunity for success lies not in convincing people we don't bite, but rather in our ability to demonstrate our genuine concerns for the scourge of drugs and crime gripping our states; for the reach of a government that increasingly inserts itself into our lives; for the family struggling to live paycheck to paycheck; for the continual erosion of our constitutional rights; for the corruption of our school system; and for the weakening of our families and the taking of human life--born and unborn.
STEELE: Iím not discounting the issues, theyíre clearly important. But itís not JUST about the issues; itís also about the man--their personal journey and their story, and how they arrive at decisions. I look at the totality of what weíre talking about for the next 6 years. You want to get a sense of who I am and what I stand for.
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. Iíve worked across party lines. But we need to change the direction.
STEELE: For Ben Cardin to say heís a change agent is laughable. Heís been in Congress for 20 years. To all of a sudden say youíre interested in change is just not believable. Whereís the voice been? Whereís the voice on transportation, on health care? These voices I have not heard. Now to say that youíre for changing the system, when youíve been part of the system that gave us these problems, is laughable.
CARDIN: Iím proud of my record in Congress. Proud of the changes Iíve made in Medicare & the retirement system.
ZEESE: I think both of you are right. Youíre both selected by your party leadership. Youíre both in bed with the special interests. And youíre both not going to bring change to Washington. The voters need to know that.
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. Youíve been shepherded around the state by Steny Hoyer. When you talk about whoís hand-picked, not me, friend, you.
CARDIN: Youíre the one who identifies with George Bush. You brought Bush into Maryland to raise a half-million. Youíre 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 Iíll bring change to Washington.
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 didnít 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.
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.
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 nationís capital. And thatís why I am certain it is time for me to run for the United States Senate.
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 didnít 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.
A: It was just pure ignorance. Itís 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 didnít 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 Iím 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 wasnít 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.
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
Senate races Nov. 2016:
AK: Murkowski(R) vs.Begich(D)
AL: Shelby(R) vs.Crumpton(D)
AR: Boozman(R) vs.Eldridge(D)
AZ: McCain(R) vs.Ward(R) vs.Kirkpatrick(D) vs.Mealer(I)
CA: Sanchez(D) vs.Harris(D) vs.Chavez(R) vs.Del Beccaro(R) vs.Sundheim(R)
CO: Bennet(D) vs.Glenn(R) vs.Neville(R)
CT: Blumenthal(D) vs.Wolf(R)
FL: Jolly(R) vs.DeSantis(R) vs.Cantera(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Grayson(D) vs.Keith(D)
GA: Isakson(R) vs.Nunn(D) vs.Barrow(D) vs.Grayson(R) vs.Buckley(L)
HI: Schatz(D) vs.Hanabusa(D)
IA: Grassley(R) vs.Fiegen(D) vs.Hogg(D)
ID: Crapo(R) vs.
IN: Stutzman(R) vs.Hill(D) vs.Holcomb(R) vs.Bosma(R) vs.Young(R)
KS: Moran(R) vs.Orman(I) vs.Sebelius(D)
KY: Paul(R) vs.Conway(D) vs.Chandler(D)
MD: Edwards(D) vs.Van Hollen(D) vs.Ehrlich(R) vs.Steele(R)
MO: Blunt(R) vs.Kander(D)
NC: Burr(R) vs.Rey(D) vs.
NH: Ayotte(R) vs.Shea-Porter(D)
NV: Cortez-Masto(D) vs.Heck(R) vs.
NY: Schumer(D) vs.King(R) vs.Gibson(R)
OH: Portman(R) vs.Strickland(D) vs.Sittenfeld(D)
OK: Lankford(R) vs.Johnson(D)
OR: Wyden(D) vs.Callahan(R)
PA: Toomey(R) vs.Stern(R) vs.Sestak(D) vs.McGinty(D) vs.Fetterman(D)
SC: Scott(R) vs.Dickerson(D)
SD: Thune(R) vs.Herseth-Sandlin(D)
UT: Lee(R) vs.Swinton(D)
WA: Murray(D) vs.Vance(R)
WI: Johnson(R) vs.Feingold(D) vs.Lorge(R)
Senate Votes (analysis)