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Protests Greet Bush, Including One from GOP Candidate

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President Bush arrived in Memphis on Wednesday for a luncheon fundraiser at the East Memphis home of civic figure/industrialist Pitt Hyde that was his second such effort this year on behalf of Republican senatorial candidate Bob Corker.

Not everybody was made happy by Mr. Bush’s presence, as a group of protesters at the nearby intersection of Yates and Shady Grove made clear. More surprising than this turnout from Democrats, however, was a critical press release from the camp of GOP congressional candidate Mark White expressing exasperation with the president’s disinclination to visit inner-city Memphis during his visit.

This is White’s statement in its entirety: ““I welcome President Bush to Memphis. I again personally offer to give him a tour of the inner-city of Memphis, which, like many other American inner-cities has been forgotten by career politicians, succumbed to the ravages of violent crime, and left in despair and decay. This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that the values of the African American community are also those of the Republican Party. Why he will not follow me there is beyond me.”

Howie Morgan, campaign manager and spokesman for White, said he realized that some Republicans might be offended by the release. Asked if he intended to find fault with Mr. Bush, Morgan said, “The statement speaks for itself.”

Morgan said White, who was one of those attending the fundraiser luncheon Monday, had invited the president to visit the inner city with him "weeks ago" and said, "We never got a response."

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