Beltway Happenings
May 17, 2006--President Bush spoke (transcript) to about 800 people attending the Republican National Committee's 2006 Presidential Gala at DAR Constitution Hall.  "We're just kind of warming up for these off-year elections," Bush said.  "Tonight is part of the process to make sure that when our candidates take it to the voters, they're able to do so in a way where people can hear them loud and clear."  (related photos)

According to the RNC, the event "set a non-presidential election year record by raising $17 million in federal funds."   RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman said in a statement that, "The RNC Gala's record success this year shows that Republicans are eager to support President Bush and motivated to maintain our majorities in the House and Senate."  Through the end of April the RNC already had $44.7 million in cash on hand compared to $9.4 million for the DNC. 

In his speech, which lasted about half an hour, Bush drew clear distinctions between Democrats and Republicans.  "We're the party of the future, and our candidates will be running against the party of the past, a party that offers no new ideas like the Republican Party, a party that can only offer opposition," he said.  "The Republican Party is the party of the future because we believe it is our job to take on the challenges of our time and not to pass them on to future Congresses or future generations." 

Bush declared that, "People have a choice to make between folks who want to stay on the offense and protect the American people and people who lose their nerve."  Further, he said, "The elections this year offer the American people a clear choice: If you want to send more of your paycheck to Washington, D.C., vote Democrat.  If you want to keep more of your paycheck for your family, vote Republican." 

Earlier in the day the President signed the Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005.   The legislation extends the 2003 tax cuts on dividends and capital gains.

Republican National Committee
Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action