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   GOP Governors Say Bush Missteps Hurt Them

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2/27/2006 8:00 pm

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Entered 2/27/2006, Updated 2/27/2006

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Republican governors are openly worrying that the Bush administration's latest stumbles from the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina to those of its own making on prescription drugs and ports security are taking an election-year toll on the party back home. The GOP governors reluctantly acknowledge that the series of gaffes threatens to undermine public confidence in President Bush's ability to provide security, which has long been his greatest strength among voters. "You've got solid conservatives coming up speaking like they haven't before, it's likely that something's going on at the grass roots," said Republican Mark Sanford of South Carolina. "Whether it's temporary or not remains to be seen." The unease was clear in interviews with more than a dozen governors over the weekend, including nearly half of the Republicans attending the winter meeting of the National Governors Association. The annual conference was taking place in a capital enthralled by the political firestorm over government plans to approve takeover of operations at some terminals at six U.S. ports by a company owned by the United Arab Emirates government.


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