WASHINGTON (AP) – John McCain’s campaign manager and chief strategist quit Tuesday, the second major staff shake-up in a week for the Republican presidential candidate who trails his rivals in money and polls.
In a statement, the Arizona senator said Terry Nelson and John Weaver offered their resignations, “which I accepted with regret and deep gratitude for their dedication, hard work and friendship.”
Nelson, a veteran of President Bush’s successful 2004 re-election effort, said he stepped down as campaign manager and Weaver, a longtime aide who ran McCain’s failed 2000 presidential bid, said he left his post of chief strategist. Both resignations were effective immediately.
Other officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid discussing private conversations, said Nelson was fired. But several people close to Nelson disputed that characterization.
Two officials said Rick Davis, a longtime aide to McCain, will take over the campaign and that other changes also were likely.
Thing’s aren’t so rosy in McCain-land apparently.
The shake-up comes just six months before the first voting in Iowa and as McCain, once considered the front-runner, seeks to regain some momentum with a diminishing list of options to lift his candidacy.
McCain’s fortunes soured considerably this year as he embraced President Bush’s troop increase for the Iraq war, an unpopular conflict with the public but one supported by most Republicans, and a bipartisan immigration bill that has divided the GOP.
Over the past six months, his donors and supporters were turned off by what they viewed as McCain embracing the policies of a lame-duck president with abysmal approval ratings. That caused McCain’s polling and fundraising to suffer.
I have maintained, and will maintain, that the only thing that has truly killed McCain’s fundraising is his support for the terrible Kennedy/Amnesty legislation. Supporting the troop surge has not hurt him, Giuliani and Romney also support it and they’re doing just fine. McCain has too much liberal legislation, like McCain-Feingold, hanging around his neck. Couple that with his bullish attitude about this amnesty bill and he shot himself in the foot.
McCain’s attitude toward opposition to the terrible immigration bill consisted of this:
â€œAnd when you have a better proposal, I would love to hear it.â€
Apparently people have just decided to find a better candidate than argue with McCain.
McCain is out of touch and has been for a long time with the Republican Party.