Last month, Representative Mike Castle (R-DE) and I formally requested a meeting with President Bush to discuss our Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 810). This bill would expand current federal embryonic stem cell research policy and create an ethical framework for conducting this research, which could hold the cure to such diseases as Alzheimer's and diabetes. Unfortunately the President sent us a letter denying our request yesterday.

And while it's regrettable that President Bush will not grant us the common courtesy of a meeting, it's just insulting that he sent his head political advisor to my hometown with a veto threat. Earlier this week, Karl Rove met with the Denver Post editorial board and announced that President Bush will veto H.R. 810 if it passes th U.S. Senate. This research is far too important to let Rove turn into a wedge issue like flag burning or gay marriage.

I would still welcome the chance to sit down with the President and talk to him about the mistake of making his first veto a bill which would help 100 million Americans and their families. This issue should be above politics and certainly above Karl Rove's cynical electoral strategy.