PHILADELPHIA – The Maryland delegation to the Republican National Convention put interstate rivalries aside Tuesday and gave fellow party member Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III a warm reception at their downtown hotel.
Ellen Sauerbrey, chairwoman of the Maryland delegation, introduced Gilmore as “dear to our hearts, neighbor to the south.”
Sauerbrey praised Gilmore’s record in Virginia on reducing taxes and developing high technology corridors, saying, “We’d like to emulate you one day.”
Neither Sauerbrey nor Gilmore mentioned the two states’ competition for high-tech businesses or their wrangle over Potomac River water. Gilmore’s talk was focused on foreign, not domestic, policy.
Gilmore is a member of a national commission studying the dangers of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
The Virginia governor’s address meshed with the Republican convention’s theme of the day: “Strength and security with a purpose: Safe in our homes and in the world.”
“I can’t tell you, I feel so close to the Maryland Republican Party (that) it’s almost like my party,” Gilmore told delegation members.
Gilmore was warmer to the Maryland delegation than the state’s governor, Democrat Parris N. Glendening, who came to Philadelphia Monday to challenge the Republican’s claim of being an inclusive party.
Gilmore said Glendening was “no more than a fine mist” on the Republican parade.
“Virginia is lucky to have a Republican governor,” said Scott Rolle, Frederick County state’s attorney and District 6 delegate.
Gilmore presented a new Bush ad on national security issues.
The ad shown at the morning meeting echoed the message Bush’s foreign policy adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was to deliver to the Republican convention later that day: the United States should view relations with China as “strategic competition” instead of a “strategic partnership,” as President Clinton has outlined.
Gilmore also introduced Paul Wolfowitz, who is part of Bush’s foreign policy team and lives in Montgomery County, to the delegation.
Wolfowitz, a foreign policy professor at Johns Hopkins University, also echoed one of Rice’s expected comments: that the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty should be dumped if it cannot be modified.
The 1972 treaty was made “with a country (U.S.S.R.) that does not exist anymore,” Wolfowitz said.
He also called it an “obsolete treaty.”
Wolfowitz was presumptive vice presidential nominee Richard Cheney’s undersecretary of defense during the Bush administration. The Washington Post reported Monday that he could become the new head of the Central Intelligence Agency if George W. Bush were elected.
“It would be an honor to have him represent Maryland as a high level adviser,” said Maryland Sen. Chris McCabe, R-Howard, who also works at Johns Hopkins.
Maryland and Virginia have a long-running rivalry, but most recently the states have been at odds over Virginia’s desire to build a water intake pipe in the middle of the Potomac River. The Supreme Court said Maryland had “original jurisdiction” through a 17th century law giving control of the river to the state. “Every time a bridge brings two states together” there is tension, Rolle said. “But the river is Maryland’s.” McCabe, who is on the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee that was handling the problem, said, “I hesitated to get involved in how it was to be worked out.” McCabe said the governors of the two states should resolve the issue, not the legislature. -30- CNS-08-01-00