McCain Rejects Rumors He Will Abandon Presidential Race


Thursday, June 28th 2007, 5:51 pm
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON (AP) _ John McCain dismissed the notion Thursday that he would drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination because he's lagging in fundraising and trailing in polls.

``That's ridiculous,'' the Arizona senator told reporters in the Capitol. ``Why in the world would I want to do that?''

``It would be nuts,'' McCain said, adding that the first primary contests are a full six months away and arguing that voters won't start paying close attention until the fall. ``I don't know why I would even remotely consider such a thing in the month of June, or July.''

He acknowledged his difficulty raising money; he placed third among the top GOP presidential contenders after the first three months of the year with $12.5 million and may come in under that total when the second financial quarter ends Saturday.

McCain was widely considered the GOP front-runner as 2006 ended but his standing in both national and state polls has dropped since the start of the year. He has become intimately linked to the unpopular Iraq war, and, in recent weeks, he's drawn criticism from conservatives for his support of President Bush's immigration reform bill.

Despite the woes, McCain said: ``Overall, I think we're doing fine.''

``We have a strong political base, we have good supporters throughout, and the polls jump up and down,'' he said.

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback on Thursday voted for and against the immigration bill, explaining that he wanted to show his support for reform but not President Bush's legislation.

When voting began on whether to advance the measure that would legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, the Kansas senator voted ``yes.'' About 10 minutes later, Brownback switched his vote to ``no.''

``I wanted to signal that I support comprehensive immigration reform, but now is not the time, this is not the bill,'' Brownback said.

Brownback has shifted his position on immigration since last year, when he supported a Senate measure that would give millions of illegal immigrants a chance to become U.S. citizens. Brownback came under heavy criticism from conservatives who adamantly oppose to the bill.

Now, Brownback says he favors a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that secures the border, provides interior workplace enforcement, and a workable guest worker program.

``I became convinced along with many my colleagues on the floor that this version of the immigration bill was not, and would not become the vehicle that would fix our broken system as I had hoped,'' Brownback said.

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday he opposes impeachment of either President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Illinois Democrat said he would not back such a move although he has been distressed by the ``loose ethical standards, the secrecy and incompetence'' of a ``variety of characters'' in the administration.

``There's a way to bring an end to those practices, you know: vote the bums out,'' the presidential candidate said, without naming Bush and Cheney. ``That's how our system is designed.''

The term for Bush and Cheney ends on Jan. 20, 2009.

The senator, a Harvard law school graduate and former lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago, said impeachment should not be used as a standard political tool.

``I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breeches, and intentional breeches of the president's authority,'' he said.

``I believe if we began impeachment proceedings we will be engulfed in more of the politics that has made Washington dysfunction,'' he added. ``We would once again, rather than attending to the people's business, be engaged in a tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, nonstop circus.''

Obama spoke at a weekly constituent breakfast he and fellow Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin sponsor. He was asked about impeachment.

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The wife of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama said Thursday she's scaled back her professional work to campaign, to tend to her family and to ensure that the couple's two daughters don't grow up to be partiers.

In a speech to female campaign donors, Michelle Obama didn't mention the current presidential daughters _ Jenna and Barbara Bush _ and their reputation for enjoying good times. The campaign said she wasn't referring to the Bush twins, but the crowd made the connection.

``One of the things that we want to do as a family out here is lead for the country, to show people that family is important,'' Michelle Obama said.

``If we're not taking care of our backyard, if our girls are dancing on tabletops, which will not happen,'' she said as the crowd burst into laughter. ``My question is how do you lead if your own home isn't in order? So I'm making sure those little girls are on point.''

The Obama's daughters are 8-year-old Malia and 6-year-old Sasha.