Maryland Senate candidates Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) and Rep. Benjamin Cardin (D) faced off on Meet the Press this morning to debate the big issues. Steele crushed Cardin on the congressman’s “plan” for Iraq, just by demanding that Cardin explain it. Steele eventually exposed Cardin for being against funding the war and the troops, something Democrats continually deny in public even while Rep. Charlie Rangel promises to cut off funding the war if the Democrats take the House. Steele confronted Cardin’s plan to bring 10,000 troops home a month, which would leave us with only half our force in Iraq by the end of the year. However, Cardin denied his so-called plan with this response: “Should we have a time schedule? No.”.

Continuing, host Tim Russert actually played some hardball with Cardin, asking him to clarify his position to cut funding for the war, thus taking money from troops during wartime. Quoting the Baltimore Sun, Russert pointed out that Cardin said if the Democrats could present cutting funding for the war “the right way”, he would “clearly support it”. Below is an excerpt from that Sun article:

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Later, Russert brought up several instances in which the Lt. Gov. is supposedly covering up his party affiliation. But Russert didn’t mention that Michael Steele was the Maryland Republican party chairman, or that he is currently the Lieutenant Governor under Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich, or the fact that a big “R” will appear next to Steele’s name on the ballot. Steele, in his response, makes it clear that he is a Republican but is not running as a partisan.

Russert asked Steele several ‘gotcha’ questions like “which current Supreme Court justice would you vote not to confirm”. That’s the advise and consent version of “When did you stop beating your wife?” And then there were just plain dumb questions like “what about Steele Republicans”, asked in reference to “Steele Democrat” bumper stickers that are all over Maryland. Russert was trying to make it look like Steele is running away from his Republican affiliation. I wonder if Russert has ever heard of Reagan Democrats?

And how often does Russert mention that before taking the helm at NBC, he was a Democrat staffer? And so were many of his MSM colleagues.

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Michael Steele’s campaign exposes all of Cardin’s lies and contradictions.