Iowa Christian Alliance president Steve Scheffler yesterday sent an email to the group's supporters reprimanding Giuliani and McCain for not participating in its events. The group held a candidate forum at the end of June that was attended by every GOP candidate except those two. And the group notes it's hosting house parties throughout the state at various times in order to provide another venue for candidates to participate in their events. More from the email: "While Rudy Giuliani admittedly is pro-choice and favors special rights for homosexuals he recently stated while in Iowa that he would only appoint strict-constructionist judges to the U.S. Supreme Court who are in the mold of Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito. However, most of Giuliani's judicial appointments during his eight years as mayor of New York were hardly in the mold of Roberts and Alito… McCain has also left many Iowa Christian voters confused regarding his stances on various issues such as stem cell research, traditional marriage, and illegal immigration. While we are thankful for the pro-life votes he has cast in the past we cannot understand why he would support the use of federal tax dollars to advance the efforts of embryonic stem cell research."
BROWNBACK: The Kansas senator defended his push-call attacks in Iowa on Romney's -- and Romney's wife's -- stance on abortion. "If anything we're saying is untrue, I will issue an apology," the Des Moines Register notes. MCCAIN: In another salt-in-the-wound development, McCain's camp was dealt another blow yesterday when two of his chief media consultants decided to resign. "Political ad-makers Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, veterans of President Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns, on Monday emailed the new campaign manager -- lobbyist and longtime McCain adviser Rick Davis -- to say that they were quitting. The two men told friends they had considered leaving for days, as they hadn't been paid and the campaign's financial straits raised questions of when and how much they would be."
But let's not go overboard on this development. Many of the Bush-Cheney folks that were brought in by ex-manager Terry Nelson have been leaving. This may simply be a continuation of that exodus.McCain brought his newly refined campaign to New Hampshire on Wednesday. "Yesterday, in a series of stops, McCain illustrated the new approach, speaking forcefully on issues dear to him and traveling with a slimmer crew of staffers - and a significantly smaller cadre of reporters and television cameras. His message hasn't changed much, though he spoke little about immigration reform, an issue that figured prominently in previous visits and on which he differs from many Republican voters."
ROMNEY: In another attempt to appeal to conservative voters, Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire he wants to appoint conservative judges. "'I will appoint justices like Roberts and Alito and Scalia . . . and Thomas,' the New Hampshire Union-Leader reports. F. THOMPSON: The Washington Post does an examination of Thompson's trial lawyer career (late '70s to early '90s). "His work representing white-collar criminals, drug defendants and lawsuit victims has given Thompson an affinity with one of the Republican Party's perennial targets, trial lawyers, and he carries that connection with him even today as he prepares to seek the GOP presidential nomination. It also helped shape a view on lawsuit reform that has frequently put him at odds with his own party."
Politico's Martin reports Newt Gingrich may end up endorsing Fred Thompson. Gingrich and his wife had dinner with the Thompsons early last week. Then there's the decision by one of Gingrich's longtime political aides, Rich Galen, to sign up with Thompson. "If a Gingrich endorsement of Thompson happens, it probably won't be until at least October. For one thing, Thompson isn't likely to formally announce his candidacy until after Labor Day. But Gingrich has also said repeatedly that he would hold off any decision until after he marks the 13th anniversary of the Contract With America -- the manifesto that spurred the GOP takeover of the House in 1994 -- by holding an online policy seminar in late September."
GOP analyst Quin Hillyer advises folks to take a deep breath regarding Thompson. The same folks, he notes, were criticizing Giuliani three months for not getting his campaign in gear soon enough and look where he still is. "Thompson isn't imploding. He has surrounded himself with smart people, and he is a very good communicator who is a proven mainstream conservative. He's gonna be very, very much in the mix, and he is well positioned to win the whole thing."