Divisions over Iraq extended to the presidential campaign during the Senate’s all-night debate, with Republican John McCain steadfastly backing President Bush’s war strategy as Democratic rivals demanded troop withdrawals.
“Our defeat there would be catastrophic, not just for Iraq, but for us,” the Arizona senator said Wednesday. “As long as we have a chance to succeed we must try to succeed.”
In a speech just after 4 a.m., Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York argued: “It is time for us to move our troops out of harm’s way in the middle of the Iraqi civil war.”
The plight of Republican Sen. John McCain’s campaign for U.S. president conjures up all sorts of mixed metaphors: On a wing and a prayer, teetering on the brink, one foot in the grave, down to his last bullet.
Can he come back from the dead, rise from the ashes, turn the tide, survive to fight another day? Or has the train already left the station?
And the leading Republican presidential candidate is … none of the above.
The latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that nearly a quarter of Republicans are unwilling to back top-tier hopefuls Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain or Mitt Romney, and no one candidate has emerged as the clear front-runner among Christian evangelicals. Such dissatisfaction underscores the volatility of the 2008 GOP nomination fight.
It didn’t matter whether they raised more money or not, most presidential candidates certainly boosted their spending in the second quarter of the year.
More on staff. More on travel. More on consultants.
Democrats outraised Republicans about $80 million to $50 million from April through June. But Republicans kept pace with Democrats on spending — nearly $50 million spent on both sides.
Ron Paul, the Texas congressman running a long-shot campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, raised $2.4 million from April through June and ended the quarter with a similar amount in the bank, according to financial reports filed Sunday.
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd on Saturday criticized rivals John Edwards and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who were overheard discussing among themselves their hope of limiting the number of Democrats in presidential debates.
The private exchange was picked up by several broadcasters on an open microphone after an NAACP forum in Detroit on Thursday. All the Democratic contenders took part in the program, including Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich.
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore ended his long-shot campaign for presidency on Saturday.
The 57-year-old Republican said in a written statement that his late start, near the end of April, and the front-loaded primary schedule “have made it impractical to continue.”
Republican John McCain said Friday he was to blame for the weakened state of his presidential campaign that has undergone two major staff shake-ups in a week and is nearly broke.
“We’ve made mistakes,” the Arizona senator said during an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio. “The responsibility is mine. I’m the candidate.”
Four days after accepting the resignations of his two top campaign aides, McCain said he didn’t do what was necessary to run a productive campaign and spent just as much as he brought in when he should have been saving up to pay for costly television advertisements for the heat of race.
John McCain jettisoned his two top aides Tuesday as the one-time Republican front-runner struggled to right a presidential bid in deep financial and political trouble.
Campaign manager Terry Nelson and chief strategist John Weaver offered McCain their resignations, which the Arizona senator accepted with “regret and deep gratitude for their dedication, hard work and friendship.”
Cindy Sheehan, the slain soldier’s mother whose attacks on President Bush made her a darling of the anti-war movement, has a new target: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Sheehan, who announced in late May that she was departing the peace movement, said she decided to run against Pelosi unless the congresswoman moves to oust Bush in the next two weeks.
“I think all politicians should be held accountable,” Sheehan told The Associated Press on Sunday. “Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership. We hired them to bring an end to the war.”