'Show Me' The Path to Victory: Bush Stumps in Missouri

By Dale Forbis | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

St. Charles, MO (CNSNews.com) -- Texas governor George W. Bush told a cheering crowd in Missouri Thursday he's the man to end partisan politics in Washington.

Backed by St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck, and U.S. Senators Christopher Bond and John Ashcroft, Bush used his appearance before more than five-thousand supporters at the Family Arena in St. Charles as a "get out the vote" event.

Ashcroft is caught in a re-election struggle against the widow of the state's late governor, Mel Carnahan, who was running for the seat until he was killed in a plane crash last month. Jean Carnahan has agreed to serve if her husband, whose name will remain on the ballot, is elected.

Thursday, Ashcroft urged his supporters, "please vote next Tuesday before you eat. That'll give you time to call a dozen friends before you sleep."

Bush was in one St. Louis suburb on the same day Democratic vice presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman campaigned in another, University City.

That's because tracking polls show several high-profile races, including the one for president, virtually even. Missouri, the "Show Me" state, is also considered a "swing state" in this year's election. Voters here have failed to support the ultimate winner in the presidential election just once in the last century.

Bush stayed on message when he took the microphone. "Halloween just ended," he said, "but there are a lot of scare tactics still out there."

"Ours is the philosophy that says we trust the people," Bush said, "and I'm running against a man who trusts the federal government."

Bush told the partisan crowd he wants to save Social Security and strengthen the military. He also called for Medicare reform, including prescription drug coverage for senior citizens. Bush said he will reach across party lines to get tax relief for all taxpayers.

"Washington doesn't have to be a place of bitterness and acrimony and finger-pointing, and no results," he said. "There's a better way: to have a president willing to reach across the partisan divide, and to unite this nation."

Buck, the legendary Cardinals broadcaster said, "We had a great baseball season, and the American people will have a great election -- if we help them." Buck was referring to St. Louis winning the National League Central Division championship and the need to get voters to the polls.

Ashcroft's race against the late Missouri Governor is also too close to call. He did not refer to Jean Carnahan, but did ask for a moment of silence for St. Louis County police Sgt. Richard Weinhold, who was killed in the line of duty this week.

The GOP's message for next Tuesday is: "don't vote alone, take a friend."

"Don't be afraid to talk to those undecided voters about the issues," Bush exhorted the crowd, "because we stand side-by-side with the people of the great state of Missouri."

As Bush's limousine was taking the candidate to the airport, it reportedly encountered another entourage, this one taking Sen. Joseph Lieberman to the St. Louis metropolitan area.