McCain ‘enters’ GOP race for President by Mitch E. Perry

WMNF Drive-Time News Monday



Senator John McCain of Arizona declared last night that he will join the 2008 race for the White House and will formally announce his candidacy in April.

McCain used an appearance on CBS's "Late Show With David Letterman" to say what has been clear for many months, if not years (roll tape#1 o.q. applause)

McCain had been considered the early front runner for the GOP nomination for President, based on the fact that he was the strongest challenger to President Bush back in 2000, and that ’08 was ‘his turn’.

But it’s not exactly working out as McCain had hoped.   A Washington Post/ABC News poll released earlier this week shows McCain trailing former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani, 44 to 21 percent.  A month earlier, that margin was closer, with Guiliani leading  34 to 27 percent.

Mark Proctor is a local Republican Party consultant.  He says McCain’s previous reputation as a Maverick on some core issues has alienated him from parts of the GOP base (roll tape#2 o.q.”as these other candidates come forward”)

McCain has never been the favorite of many conservatives in the Party.  A 23 page report  titled, “He’s No Ronald Reagan: Why Conservatives Should Not Vote for John McCain," was issued today by the Citizens United Political Victory Fund.  In it, the document refers to McCains positions on abortion, campaign finance reform, global warming, illegal immigration, stem cell research and tax relief, among other items.

Todd Pressman is a local GOP political consultant.  He says McCain has gone down as more Republicans get excited about the prospects of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s candidacy (roll tape#2 o.q.”John McCain’s base”)

April Schiff is another GOP political consultant based in Tampa.  She thinks that some Republicans simply don’t trust the Arizona Senator (roll tape#3 o.q.”social conservative issues”)

One comment McCain made last night on Letterman he retracted today ..that was the Senator talking about Iraq (roll tape#4 o.q.”over there”)

When Democratic Presdiential Candidate Barack Obama made a similar comment weeks ago, he was criticized, and ultimately apologized for saying such lives were wasted.  McCain did the same thing today.

Now the big news this week is Rudy Guiliani’s candidacy seems to have taken off – with his highest poll rankings yet.  Tomorrow night we’ll hear from these same GOP officials on why they think – despite opinions from Democrats that Guiliani is too liberal – that he has a real shot at the GOP nomination for President                     

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