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McCain: Bush pitches in

At a fundraiser in Michigan yesterday, President Bush said that McCain "is the only candidate 'who knows what it takes to defeat our enemies.'" More: "Casting the 2008 election as one in which 'the American people are going to have a clear choice when it comes to protecting our country and winning the war on terror,' Mr. Bush opened by talking about his own experience. 'I know a lot about the Oval Office, the daily intelligence briefings, the unexpected challenges and the tough decisions that can only be made at the president's desk,' he said. 'In trying times, America needs a president who has been tested and will not flinch.'" 

The Washington Post adds, "The 20-minute speech was a relatively rare public fundraising event for Bush, whose 29 GOP fundraisers this year have generally been held inside private homes. The speech also underscores Bush's increasing engagement with the presidential campaign after months in which he and his aides have sought to keep him above the fray."

Has a month gone by without a major print news organization doing a big profile on how much money either Rick Davis or Charlie Black has made off of political connections? Today's Washington Post looks at Davis' lobbying firm and how Davis' McCain ties over the years have helped the firm land certain clients. In addition, the Post revisits some of the complaints from now ex-McCain staffers with how Davis' new media firm has made big money off the campaign.

The AP: "Without [Christian conservatives], the less-organized and lower-profile McCain campaign is likely to struggle to replicate Bush's success. And so far, there's been scant sign that the Republican nominee-in-waiting is making inroads among these fervent believers… Family groups in Ohio outlined their doubts about the Arizona senator in a meeting with McCain's advisers last weekend. They're concerned about his record on abortion rights and on campaign finance laws that they believe limited their ability to criticize candidates who are pro-choice on abortion."

The DNC will release a polling memo later today on McCain. Here's a sneak peek: "Four months after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain has still failed to connect with the American people. As recent polls show, Senator McCain has not made inroads with voters on key issues of character and values as voters continue to view Senator McCain as out of touch. Additionally, as record numbers of voters nationally identify as Democratic, Senator McCain is also looking at having to play defense on Republican turf in key states."
While in London, Cindy McCain spoke to the UK Times. "Passing through London en route to the US after her own humanitarian mission to Vietnam, Mrs McCain spoke to The Times about the strains and pleasures of being on the campaign trail, her struggle with illness, and the charity work she has performed for the past 20 years, notably with the Halo Trust, the anti-landmine charity of which Diana, Princess of Wales, was also patron."

More: "After long experience, she can spot a political landmine from a distance. Is John McCain too old, at 71, to be president? 'Oh my gosh, no. He wears me out. You should meet his 96-year-old mother, she would wear you out also.' On Zimbabwe: 'We want democracy. The right to free elections. The fundamental freedoms we all enjoy.' On the presidential election: 'The American people are going to get a clear choice.' On her husband: 'His experience, his life story, his knowledge of how the world works.' If there is a hint here about Barack Obama's relative inexperience, it is of the most subtle kind."