WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain will use New Hampshire as a backdrop Friday for a speech on Iraq and the broader war against terror, but the Arizona republican is not expected to take "any radical departures" from previous positions, sources close to the senator tells CNN.
McCain has just returned from a trip to Iraq and is seeking to reenergize his presidential campaign after posting lackluster fundraising numbers. The Arizona senator has dramatically reduced his staff and is focusing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination primarily on the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. And a source shot down a published report that McCain is being advised to resign his Senate seat and seek the presidency full time.
"Whoever those 'advisors' are, they are not senior enough to know what they are saying," said one of the McCain sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Nobody in the top six or eight of his advisors has said that to him. And he wouldn't listen to it if they did. His role in Congress, vis a vis, the war is too important to him."
Despite speculation that McCain's campaign is sputtering out, this source said there is still a feeling among the inner circle that "he has as good a chance as anybody.
"Obviously we are short of money," the source said. "I think we'll get treated as a second tier candidate for a while … but he will be back in the fall (after working the big three states) New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina. He has good organization in all those states even after he got pummeled on immigration."
McCain's speech on Iraq Friday will take place in Concord.
- CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley