CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) – Sen. John McCain is not throwing in the towel, even though the Arizona Republican has to rebuild a presidential campaign beset by financial woes, staff resignations and questions about viability.
This time last year it was different as his trusted campaign operative John Weaver was putting the building blocks in place for a national campaign. Earlier this week, Weaver and campaign manager Terry Nelson resigned after McCain appeared to lose confidence in their ability to lead the campaign that had only $2 million in the bank after raising more than $20 million in the first six months of the year. Several senior staffers followed Weaver and Nelson out the door - a few more are expected to resign by Monday.
Despite the shake up or shake out, McCain told his remaining staffers Thursday that he was moving forward and expressed confidence in his ability to win the GOP presidential nomination.
"It was basically 'We're are going to win, I am going to be president and here's why,'" said a senior McCain advisor.
The advisor added, "Politically, McCain is more comfortable and better suited to an underdog campaign." McCain is now looking at a slimmed down approach, a far contrast from the operation he built that was a merging of his inner circle former Bush political operatives.
The advisor said he believes that small donors will begin giving money to McCain again in September, believing fundraising in the second quarter "dried up because of immigration" - an issue that cost the Arizona senator support on the right.
Rick Davis, a longtime advisor, will lead the operation and Mike Dennehy, his former national political director returns to the fold with an expanded portfolio as does his former Finance Director Carla Eudy.
Dennehy will remain based in New Hampshire - the state McCain won in 2000 and a key part to his new strategy.
"For those of us who went through 2000, we know the most important thing, is to put John McCain in front of voters,” Dennehy said in an interview Friday morning.
– CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley