Bush scales back fundraising, at McCain’s request!

President Bush was supposed to be on the road next week doing some fundraising for Republican causes. Well, he still will be but the events will be very low-key and closed to the press, at the request of the McCain campaign.

Story from The Politico:

President Bush is scaling back next week’s fundraising swings for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the request of the campaign, which wants the events closed to the press, POLITICO has learned.

The change — in both Arizona and Utah — is part of McCain’s delicate effort to find the balance between embracing an unpopular president and taking advantage of his huge continuing draw with well-heeled Republicans.

The Arizona event, which was to be at the Phoenix Convention Center, was the first time Bush was to have appeared with McCain since their White House meeting in March.

A McCain aide said: “The McCain campaign has a policy that fundraising events are closed press. In keeping with that policy, the campaign requested the event be moved to a private home.”

On Tuesday, the president was to appear with McCain at the Phoenix Convention Center at a McCain for President and Republican National Committee Victory Reception.

And on Wednesday, Bush was to appear at Salt Lake City’s Grand America Hotel with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a McCain for President and Republican National Committee Victory Reception (followed by a more exclusive dinner at the Romneys’ Park City home).

Now, both of the public events will be at private residences.

As recently as Wednesday, Salt Lake media were saying the event would be at the Grand America.

A White House official gave the same explanation as the McCain campaign: “As you know, we have a practice of having fundraisers in public venues as open to press and fundraisers in private residences closed to press to preserve the hosts’ privacy. The [McCain campaign’s] practice has been to have all fundraisers be closed. And so a decision was made to move the location to comply with the practices.”

I don’t blame McCain on this, he needs to create his own candidacy out from the under the cloud of the Bush administration.

  • Mike

    It’s interesting that this politico article only gives the McCain campaign’s spin for the cause of the Phoenix Convention Center cancellation. Other news sources, such as the Phoenix Business Journal…

    http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2008/05/19/daily77.html?surround=lfn

    …claim that simply not enough tickets were sold to fill the venue, as well as fear of being overrun by protesters.

    If McCain wants any chance at this in November, he needs to start distancing himself from the current administration, and quickly. A recent Gallup poll…

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/107215/Bush-May-Harmful-McCain-Wright-Obama.aspx

    …found that McCain’s association with Bush actually makes more voters less likely to vote for him than Obama’s association with Rev. Wright.

  • Babs

    Mike, good points here. The first article does say that anti-war protesters planned to turn out in big numbers. Ticket sales or no (and I don’t trust the unnamed source bit in any article)that would be enough to prompt the change of venue.

    I think the damage that can be done with an over association of Bush with McCain is great, and I think the Gallup poll is probably accurate on this one. I think this is the reason we keep hearing Obama refer to the Bush admin as the “Bush/McCain” administration, as if McCain is vice president. Nothing true about it, but effective politics rarely has much truth in them. Just mind games played with voters.

  • Michael

    “Just mind games played with voters.” I would agree, and point out that flag pins certainly fall under that genre as well…

  • Babs

    Touche, Michael, they surely do. 😉