updated 9/27/2006 5:05:18 PM ET 2006-09-27T21:05:18

President Bush attended a lunch in Memphis on Wednesday that raised $1.1 million for Republican Senate candidate Bob Corker.

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Bush was in town for less than three hours for the event held at the home of AutoZone Inc. founder J.R. "Pitt" Hyde and his wife, Barbara.

Bush last visited Tennessee on Aug. 30, when he spoke at a private $2,100-a-plate fundraising dinner for Corker at a Nashville hotel that raised $1.5 million.

The president's last public appearance in Tennessee was June 30 when he took outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on a tour of Memphis, including Elvis Presley's home.

Other listed co-hosts of Wednesday's $2,100-per-ticket event were Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corp., and his wife, Dana.

Corker is running against Memphis congressman Harold Ford Jr. for the seat being vacated by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

2006 key races

The event was closed to the public and media, but members of various organizations in the heavily Democratic city turned out to protest Bush policies.

About 60 protesters gathered at the nearest large intersection, about a mile from the home, waving signs and posting photographs of soldiers who have been killed in Iraq.

The president's motorcade did not pass through the intersection, but protesters said they hoped to spread their message to Bush supporters passing by.

George Grider, 55, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, said he was angry over what he considers the Bush administration's attack on American values, like "eavesdropping on Americans and jailing people without due process."

He said he feared the United States was becoming "like countries we used to oppose."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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