ATLANTA (CNN) - One day after Sen. John McCain announced he would not participate in the Iowa GOP straw poll, the Arizona Republican visited the Hawkeye State and expressed no regret for making that decision. But McCain emphasized that he still planned on campaigning in the state and would compete in the Iowa Caucuses being held in January.
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Pella, Iowa, McCain made it clear that he wants to “focus all our attention getting ready for the caucus which is the real determining factor.”
McCain, along with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, made back-to-back announcements Thursday that they would not play in the August 11, straw poll. The poll, held in Ames, Iowa, traditionally has been a solid measure of a candidate's organizational strength.
- CNN’s Political Assignment Editor Marissa Muller