Per McCain's campaign, here are some excerpts of his speech on immigration today. "I do not question the sincerity of their convictions or their purpose in proposing other ways to address the problem,' he will say. "There is one premise most of us agree on: the status quo is unacceptable… [T]he choice is between doing something, imperfect but effective and achievable, and doing nothing. I would hope that any candidate for President would not suggest doing nothing. And I would hope they wouldn't play politics for their own interests if the cost of their ambition was to make this problem even harder to solve. To want the office so badly that you would intentionally make our country's problems worse might prove you can read a poll or take a cheap shot, but it hardly demonstrates presidential leadership." (Think he's talking about Romney?)
Apparently it's not a subtle shot at Romney, but a direct one, so says the New York Times.
"The attack, in a speech Mr. McCain is to give today, marks a sharp escalation in the war of words between two of the leading Republican presidential contenders. It also represents a risky gambit by Mr. McCain to right the course of a presidential campaign that has been consumed by attacks on his immigration stance, with Mr. Romney among his most vocal critics."
On Sunday, the New York Times front-paged the backlash Bush is receiving from conservatives on immigration.
The Washington Post: "Congress's week-long Memorial Day recess was expected to leave the bill in tatters. But with a week of action set to begin today, the legislation's champions say they believe that the voices of opposition, especially from conservatives, represent a small segment of public opinion. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who led negotiations on the bill for his party, said the flood of angry calls and protests that greeted the deal two weeks ago has since receded every day."
More: "Public opinion polls seem to support Kyl's contention that Americans are far more open to the deal than the voices of opposition would indicate. In a Washington Post-ABC News poll released today, 52 percent of Americans said they would support a program giving illegal immigrants the right to stay and work in the United States if they pay a fine and meet other requirements. Opposition to that proposal was 44 percent."
The Washington Times follows up its report that notes the RNC's fundraising has been hurt by Bush's support for the immigration proposal, a charge the RNC disputes. "[B]ut fierce grass-roots opposition to the legislation is helping several state Republican parties. Tina Benkiser, chairwoman of the Republican Party in the president's home state of Texas, says raising money has been successful 'in large part to our principled stance against illegal immigration.' Since the beginning of 2006, when substantial immigration debate began, she says, 'the Republican Party of Texas has experienced an exponential increase in direct-mail donations from supporters statewide.'"
And Human Events surveys key state GOP leaders from around the country and finds and unhappy GOP base.