A McCain memo declares the candidate is the most presidential.
(CNN) - In an internal memo to the campaign’s leadership team obtained by CNN’s John King, John McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis wrote that the Arizona senator “was the only candidate on stage [at Wednesday’s CNN/YouTube debate] who sounded like a president.”
The key to winning the White House, he added, is “dignity” and acting “presidential”. Said Davis, “I have to think the Clinton campaign is having a great day after watching the various school yard fights that broke out between Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani.” (Read memo [PDF])
Though McCain was part of some skirmishes over immigration, Davis wrote, “do we really believe that by ripping our party apart on immigration that we will be better able to win a general election against Hillary Clinton and the Democrats?”
Davis accused rivals of “name calling” as he quoted a National Review column describing McCain as “grown up and serious.” McCain, he told supporters, is needed to “restore dignity to the chaotic selection process.”
Meanwhile, GOP candidate Fred Thompson also criticized the process, including the debate forums, and called for a more substantive campaign. Thompson told reporters in Phoenix that “a presidential campaign is, as it turns out, not the best way in the world to discuss serious issues. “
“I’m thinking about a plan that may be a little bit better, where we might have a little more time to discuss serious issues,” said Thompson. “You go with what you have to go with, and that format is what we have to go with right now.”
- CNN’s Steve Brusk and Mark Norman