The following is a partial transcript of the Nov. 5, 2006, edition of "FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace":

"FOX NEWS SUNDAY" HOST CHRIS WALLACE: And now, finally, that interview we promised you earlier on the Maryland Senate race. Republican Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele is trailing Congressman Ben Cardin by four points for an open seat now held by the Democrats.

Mr. Steele is out of church and joins us in Landover, Maryland. We invited his opponent, but Congressman Cardin was not available.

Governor Steele, let's talk first of all about the news out of Baghdad today, the death sentence for Saddam Hussein. How do you think that's going to cut politically in your race?

MARYLAND SENATE CANDIDATE MICHAEL STEELE: I don't know how it's going to cut politically. I think the news is going to get absorbed over the next 24-36 hours once it becomes clear exactly what it all means, and I think it ends a very sad and terrible chapter in the history of Iraq.

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And Iraq is now looking forward, having voted for democracy, and hopefully the leadership there will begin to put in place what they need to take control of their country and move forward.

WALLACE: Vice President Cheney says regardless of the election results that the administration's policy in Iraq is going to be full speed ahead. Is that your position if you become the new senator from Maryland, your approach will be full speed ahead in Iraq?

STEELE: My position is going to be course correction. My position is going to be putting the pressure on the Iraqi government and the leadership there to take greater control militarily in terms of policing neighborhoods as well, so the footprint of our American soldier can be lessened and we can start to bring them home.

I want to see what the Hamilton-Baker Commission report puts on the table as a bipartisan set of solutions for Iraq. And if things don't move along, if the Iraqi government takes positions that are contrary to putting in place the benchmarks, then, like Senator Warner, I think that we need to reevaluate and assume that the Iraqi government does not want to fight for the freedom that many of our soldiers have died for.

WALLACE: Lieutenant Governor Steele, almost 30 percent of voters in Maryland are African-American, and you are winning a lot more support from blacks than Maryland Republicans usually do, but this week Senator Barack Obama campaigned with your opponent, with Congressman Cardin, and here's what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

U.S. SENATOR BARACK OBAMA, D-ILL.: I don't want anybody voting for me because of what I look like. I don't want you voting for somebody because of what they look like.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Given that a Steele victory would almost ensure that the Republicans would retain control of the U.S. Senate, why should Maryland blacks vote for a Senate victory, vote Republican on election day?

STEELE: Well, I'm not asking them to vote Republican. I'm asking them to vote for me. And you know, Barack Obama is entitled to his opinion, and we'll discuss that when we meet on the Senate floor.

But the reality for me is I put this campaign on the line with the Maryland voters. I put myself on the line for them. I've not come to them as a Republican or a Democrat, as an African-American, or anything other than who I am, and that is someone who believes in public service, who wants to go to Washington to try his best to make a difference in a town that has forgotten where people live and how they live and what they go through every day.

So that's not color. That's not party affiliation. That's real life. And I've been speaking to real life for the last year and a half, and the people of my state are responding to it. So hopefully when I get to Washington, Barack and I can talk about real life.

WALLACE: Lieutenant Governor, the Washington Post endorsed your opponent, Ben Cardin, over the weekend, and they had some very harsh words for you. Let's put them up on the screen.

STEELE: Okay.

WALLACE: "Despite his efforts to construct an image as an independent-minded newcomer, there is nothing in Michael Steele's past — no achievement, no record, no evidence and certainly no command of the issues — to support it."

The Post says that as lieutenant governor for the past four years, you have had marginal influence.

STEELE: I know. Isn't it a shame? Well, you know, Chris, that is pitiful. It is absolutely pitiful, and that's nothing more than what the Baltimore Sun said about me four years ago, that I bring nothing to the table but the color of my skin. They were just a little bit more sophisticated in their ignorance.

My conversation with the editorial board didn't go the way they wanted it to go because I wouldn't kowtow and answer the questions the way they wanted me to answer them. I'm my own person. I don't care about the Washington Post. The Washington Post is not going to get me elected. The Washington Post is not going to prevent me from getting elected.

They're a bunch of folks, as I told them in the interview, who sit in an ivory tower, who have no clue what real life is about out here. It's easy to pontificate when you don't have to put a vote on the line, when you don't have to look a voter in the eye and let them know what you really think, so what — they come after me.

Now, how many times very you seen the Washington Post do a second editorial on a candidate that they didn't even endorse? It makes no sense. So clearly, I must be winning this race, and the Washington Post will have to write that headline, "Steele Wins", and then eat it.

WALLACE: All right. On that note, Lieutenant Governor Steele, we're going to have to leave it. Thanks so much for coming in. And we're back now...

STEELE: All right. Take care of yourself, Chris.

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