July 13th, 2007
01:52 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain to focus on grassroots campaign

Watch CNN’s Carol Costello report on McCain’s latest campaign troubles.

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

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Steve Novak, Lyons, Colorado

    John McCain blew it BIG going from a moderate to a far-right wing blowhard with this simply intellectually weak position supporting this moronic and illegal war.

    Knowing Kerry was a weak candidate, I actually wanted McCain to run with Kerry, just to get rid of President Useless.

    Now...the guy has no brain, no morals, nothing. There's nothing to him. I admired him months ago when he correctly and astutely referred to Richard "Hateman" Dobson as a "religious terrorist." Then, months later, say you were wrong and SUCK UP to this jerk?

    I don't know what happened to the amazing courage McCain displayed as a prisoner of war. He is unable today, however, to do ANYthing politically courageous.

    It's time for McCain, who stupidly supports Bush, the man who trashed him in the '00 elections, to retire from public office. He seems so confused and inconsistent, I find it laughable that he still thinks he can win.

    Bye, John. You were fun while you lasted. Now you're an embarrassment.

    July 13, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Brian, Pleasant Grove, UT

    McCain's stubbornness for the nomination is comparable to that of Bush for the War in Iraq. Makes me a little worried if we had this guy in the oval office.

    July 13, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Jim, Atlanta Georgia

    More "up is down" "black is white" Alice in Wonderland thinking from the Straight Talk Express.

    Now that we have no money, no advisors and are at single digits in the polls, we have them right where we want them..... eerrrrr that's right John.

    July 13, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Susan,Sarasota

    What's really sad is that McCain gave up his dignity to become Bush's lapdog thinking that would give him the nomination.

    Don't worry John, Bush will give you a nice little kiss on your forehead to ease your pain and dry your tears.

    July 13, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Glenda Webb, McEwen, TN

    What will happen if John McCain becomes president in 08. I tried contacting him to help me bring my sailor who is now is a mental hospital due to the abuse he suffered in boot camp and he only pushed me and my child aside. What will happen to the troops abroad when he won't even help the ones at home. Ps if you would please write to Joe R. Campa Jr whose fax number is 7036973594 on behalf of the discharge of Seaman Apprentice Webb I would be grateful. When politicians won't help one must taake it to the people. God bless

    July 13, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Chris, Thorofare NJ

    You see McCain, in order to have a grassroots campaign, you must have people that believe in what you stand for.

    Since you are pro-war and pro-amnesty, I think that would get you about 0% of America.

    Hey, maybe he can ask Ron Paul how to run a winning grassroots campaign?

    July 13, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Michael Husband, Alexandria VA

    As a veteran of GWOT I have friends and family in the Iraqi fight today.

    I firmly believe that if we fail in Iraq we will cause a vacuumed in the reason drawing in Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. This vacuum would become an even bigger hotbed for terrorism.

    We need a president that can and will fight for transparency in gov't, stop irresponsible earmarks, reach across the isle and work with democrats, and create a positive foreign policy.

    McCain in '08 my choice.

    July 14, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  8. Lorena Duke, Fort Mill, South Carolina

    I like Mr. McCain. He seems to be a decent honorable man. I felt the same way about President Bush, which is why I hope Mr. McCain
    pulls out of the race.

    I may be missing something because I do not
    understand why anyone would want the seemingly
    thankless job of being President of the USA.

    Mr. McCain has done enough for his country and
    should enjoy his golden years.

    July 15, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |