Michael J. Fox headlines campaign event for Democratic Senate candidate

Actor Michael J. Fox headlined rallies for Democratic Senate candidates in Maryland and Virginia, saying he campaigns for candidates who support embryonic stem cell research to find cures for diseases such as Parkinson's, from which he suffers.

Quaking as he spoke, Fox defended his decision to appear in television ads for Democratic Congressman Ben Cardin and other candidates around the country who support federal funding for such research.

"I'm supporting candidates who support embryonic stem cell research in races where their opponents simply don't," he said in Maryland.

Cardin's Republican opponent in next Tuesday's elections, Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, opposes research that would destroy a human embryo.

Fox told about 100 people at the rally that anyone with a debilitating disease has a right to become active in politics.

"We are who we are, we have what we have, we want what we want, and we have the right to seek representation that will get it for us," Fox said.

Cardin told supporters that Republican opposition to the research is hurting the nation.

"We're losing our best scientists to other countries" that fund embryonic stem cell research, Cardin said.

Fox traveled to Virginia on Thursday evening to campaign for Democrat Jim Webb in that state's Senate race, reports AP.

"Apparently, I'm not supposed to talk to you until my symptoms go away. Or maybe I'm supposed to go away," said Fox at the Arlington fundraiser. "But I'm not going anywhere."

Fox was striking back at radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who mocked Fox's involuntary jerks and tremors the disease causes, suggesting Fox either exaggerated them or had not taken medications to control them. Fox has been campaigning nationally for House and Senate candidates who support government-funded embryonic stem cell research, which holds a possible cure for Parkinson's, diabetes and other diseases.

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