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Oh-eight (R): Romney = Clark Griswold?

GIULIANI:

The Los Angeles Times examines the Giuliani stump speech and the candidate on the trail, and it concludes that terrorism is his running mate. As we noted yesterday, there is a new poll that suggests Republicans are perhaps willing to look past Giuliani's pro-choice stance. But the New York Daily News says other polls paint a "darker picture." The New York Post also reports Giuliani slipping in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania -- thanks to Fred Thompson. 

MCCAIN:

The Washington Post looks at how immigration has been deadly to McCain's campaign. A top fundraiser for McCain, "who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk for the campaign, was more blunt: 'It's hurting with the main money guys. Overall, it's definitely a negative.' He added that the constant barrage of criticism from the likes of Rush Limbaugh is making it difficult to raise money from the conservative wing of the party. 'Like it or not, our base listens to that stuff,' the fundraiser said. 'Whether it's a good bill or a bad bill or an indifferent bill doesn't matter. The folks who are listening to that stuff, it's hard to persuade them with facts.'"

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, McCain played down his second-quarter fundraising expectations. "'I am confident we'll have enough money to do what we need to do; I'm pretty confident we're not as good as some of the others,' McCain said in the telephone interview. 'I haven't seen theirs. I'm satisfied with the level. It's been very difficult.'"

An RNC committeewoman from New Hampshire is stepping down to head McCain's New Hampshire push.

ROMNEY:

The Boston Globe has its fifth part in its Mitt Romney series: The Olympian. "Romney knew his political future hung on the fate of the [Salt Lake City Olympic] Games." 'If this doesn't work, I can come back to private life, but I won't be anything anymore in public life,' he confided." The Globe also notes that despite Romney pledging to not take severance pay for his work at the Olympic Games, "public records indicate he did otherwise. Romney not only accepted a $476,000 severance package from the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, according to federal tax records, but he helped to lobby the committee for similarly large pacts for his 25 senior managers, 17 of whom contributed to his 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign or the state Republican Party soon after the Winter Games." Romney's campaign says he donated the money to charity.

Deep doo-doo? Time's Ana Marie Cox gets a reaction from PETA on Romney's treatment of his dog as reported by the Boston Globe in Part 4 of the paper's Romney series. The Globe reported that Romney and family had strapped their Irish setter to the roof of their car on a trip from Massachusetts to Canada. The dog made his opinion known, and he and the car had to be hosed off. "Thinking of the wind, the weather, the speed, the vulnerability, the isolation on the roof, it is commonsense that any dog who's under extreme stress might show that stress by losing control of his bowels: that alone should have been sufficient indication that the dog was, basically, being tortured," said Ingrid Newkirk, PETA president. What's worse, it may actually be against Massachusetts law.

F. THOMPSON:

The candidate's trip to South Carolina raised some nervous eyebrows in rival camps as he met with unaffiliated GOP Gov. Mark Sanford. Sanford played down the visit saying it was just two old friends catching up, but he did add: "I think he brings a spark that a lot of people find interesting." Earlier in the day, The Columbia State noted Thompson, in his first visit to South Carolina, "showed Wednesday he could fulfill the unmet hopes of the most conservative voters. Stressing his conservative credentials, Thompson delivered a pro-military, anti-illegal immigration speech to a group of Republicans at the Clarion Townhouse downtown."

After his speech, Thompson discussed his decision to hold off on formally announcing, the New York Times writes. "'As I've said a couple of times, it's too late to play by somebody else's rules even if I wanted to, and I don't want to,' he said, adding later, "I think the timeframe that I got in is just about right."

The Thompson campaign is posting audio responses to criticisms. Here's Thompson after South Carolina, from his Web site, responding to charges that he was a lobbyist. He said the attacks from the Democrats show he must be scaring them. And he notes the most recent "lobbying" act he committed involved "lobbying" the U.S. Senate to confirm John Roberts.