McCain Taps Bush's Money-Raising Ability

Bush is planning to ride to McCain's rescue, at least when it comes to collecting money.

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President Bush is planning to ride to John McCain's rescue, at least when it comes to collecting money.

Bush will headline a fundraising event with McCain in Phoenix May 27 and is expected to do two more funders for McCain and other GOP candidates May 28 at events in Utah hosted by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The last time Bush and McCain appeared publicly together was March 5 in the White House Rose Garden, when Bush endorsed his former rival from the 2000 campaign. Since then, McCain has kept his distance from the unpopular incumbent.

But now, after the departure of senior McCain aides, including fundraiser Tom Loeffler amid conflict-of-interest questions, McCain and his strategists have concluded that it's time to bring in the president and capitalize on his prodigious ability to raise money.

However, McCain insiders say they hope such events will be infrequent because McCain does not want to appear to be running for a third Bush term.

—Kenneth T. Walsh