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Friday, November 03, 2006
Steele: President on wrong course in Iraq
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, the Republican candidate vying for Maryland's open senate seat, told CNN Thursday that he supports the Iraq war but believes the Bush Administration's plan will not achieve victory. Steele also said Donald Rumsfeld would not be his choice for Secretary of Defense.

"The strategy of using a conventional means against an insurgency is -- is incorrect," Steele told Wolf Blitzer on 'This Situation Room.' "I would like to see them correct the course immediately, because the course we're on right now is not achieving the objective."

The Maryland GOP candidate also said he disagreed with the president's statement earlier in the week that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was doing a "fantastic job."

"Let me put it this way," Steele said. "He wouldn't be my Secretary of Defense."

In an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday, Bush said of Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney: "Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them."

Steele is in a close race with Democratic Rep. Ben Cardin for retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes', D-Maryland, seat.

For CNN's coverage of the midterm elections, check out America Votes 2006

CNN's Maryland Election Guide

--CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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