Republican ads show distance from Bush
WASHINGTON - Republicans who were once cozy with President Bush are distancing themselves from both the president and their party in campaign ads.
Consider Rep. Deborah Pryce (news, bio, voting record), the fourth-ranking House Republican struggling to hold onto her seat in an evenly split district in central Ohio, near Columbus.
In 2004, her campaign Web site featured a banner of her and Bush sitting together, smiling. But in her latest television ad, Pryce is described as "independent." The spot also highlights how she "stood up to her own party" and the president to support increased federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research.
As chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, Pryce rallies colleagues to the party message.
With the election in about two months and Bush's approval ratings still low — 33 percent in the most recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll — Republicans involved in tight races are avoiding party labels and playing down their ties to the president. On issues from the Iraq war to Amtrak spending, GOP candidates are trying to argue that they don't follow in lockstep.