McCain has put together a House GOP whip team in an effort "to jump-start his effort to build support for his 2008 presidential bid in a chamber where he has never been terribly popular with his fellow Republicans," says Roll Call. "At times [McCain] has riled conservatives with his willingness to buck the Republican establishment, and his efforts to limit pork barrel spending also have drawn the ire of appropriators and other Members seeking to fund pet projects back home."
Campaigning in South Carolina this week, where he said his campaign would focus on grassroots support and not political endorsements, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said his decision to become pro-life was one based on the morality of the issue, not politics.
While there, Romney also faced questions about his Mormon faith.
On a day when other candidates were calling on the government to act on global warming, former Gov. Mike Huckabee -- in his first campaign stop in Iowa -- poked a little fun at it. "This is day in which it would be hard to convince me there's global warming going on," he told a group at lunch. "It may be, but it's not in Waukee today." Huckabee also implored the lunch patrons to think hard before choosing a frontrunner: "Every person wanting to be president will spend a lot of time thinking about what Iowans think until January 2008 ,when the caucuses are going on. How many of them will still be thinking about you after those caucuses? Who will reflect who you are? What you care about? I hope that is one of the criteria you use."
Campaigning in Iowa yesterday, Huckabee avoided the issue of Iraq but made promises to "lower health care costs, fight illegal immigration, and restore art and music to classrooms."
Sen. Sam Brownback campaigns in Michigan. During his first trip to Iowa since announcing his intention to seek the presidency, Brownback told supporters that he will focus on issues that have "bipartisan consensus," including human trafficking, climate change and poverty, reports the Des Moines Register. Brownback "also voiced support for a diplomatic rather than a military solution in Iraq."
In an interview with the Manchester Union Leader, former New York Gov. George Pataki elaborated on his proposal for Iraq, which he outlined in a speech last week. While the paper has dubbed him a presidential candidate, "Pataki said he does not expect to announce his intentions soon, but will be engaging in some 'thoughtful policy analysis about the real challenges facing this country.'"