BALTIMORE, NOV. 30 -- State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Prince George's), only hours before his first major fund-raising effort in Baltimore, used profanities today to describe the city and its economic problems, and then quickly apologized. Miller, a potential candidate for governor who held a $250-a-person fund-raising reception at a swanky hotel at the Inner Harbor here, made the remarks earlier in the day in a television interview broadcast this evening by WUSA-TV (Channel 9) in Washington. The station reported that Miller had been asked why he was holding a fund-raiser in Baltimore, and responded: "It helps educate my constitutents as to why Baltimore needs the economic help. I mean Baltimore is a goddamn ghetto. It's worse than inner-city Washington, D.C. It is shit." The expletives were beeped out during the interview, but were still partly audible. "I hope you're not going to play this on tape," Miller then said to the interviewer, laughing nervously. "I mean, it is a war zone," he said. "I mean, it's crack. I mean, it's these dime bags of PCP. One quarter of every kid is not in school each day. Fifty percent of the kids that start out in school don't graduate. So looking at things from a statewide perspective, we really have to do things to help." Miller said that he thought the part of the interview containing the profanities would not be broadcast and called the station afterward to inquire about it. He later apologized for what he said were "inappropriate and unsavory" statements. Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke was quoted by the television station as saying he disagrees strongly with Miller's characterization of the city. "I know he has been a friend to this city," Schmoke said in the interview, going on to describe Miller as "an effusive person." Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg, a Baltimore County Democrat, said he wasn't aware of the interview. When he was read excerpts of Miller's remarks, Steinberg said: "It's too overwhelming a statement to make a response to. I'm almost at a loss for words. That's powerful stuff." Later in the evening, Gov. William Donald Schaefer, former mayor and longtime booster of Baltimore, who attended the fund-raiser, told reporters he could not believe Miller had said what was reported. Miller pulled Schaefer away from reporters in a bear hug and whispered in his ear. Schaefer laughed and said, "Don't worry about it." During remarks to the crowd, Schaefer said he could personally assure Miller's interest in Baltimore. "Never once did he turn his back on the city of Baltimore," Schaefer said of the Senate president. Miller, 46, is one of several Maryland Democrats considered a potential candidate for governor in 1994. Winning support in Baltimore, where money and votes are concentrated, is critical to the success of any candidate for statewide office. Most of the people arriving for Miller's reception appeared unaware of his televised remarks. Miller, before joining a reception line, described himself as very upset about the television interview. He said he had no idea that part of the interview was being taped or would be shown on television. A spokesman for WUSA, however, said Miller was aware it was being taped and had gone through microphone checks. "I love Baltimore just like I love my home town of Clinton," Miller said. "I would never say anything untoward about Baltimore."