With a cloture vote coming as early as 7:30 pm ET and as late as 8:30 pm ET on Thursday, Rudy Giuliani stepped up the '08 dimension of the immigration debate by taking issue with his "very, very good friend" McCain for saying in this week's GOP debate that the immigration bill before the Senate is not the bill he would have written.
"Then he should have written the one he wanted and pushed that," said Giuliani while calling into Sean Hannity's radio program.
In his Hannity interview and in a separate press release, Giuliani is taking issue with McCain's Wednesday vote against an amendment sponsored by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., which would have required the U.S. to identify every non-citizen who enters and exits the country. The measure, which McCain voted against, failed by one vote. LINK
"How can you possibly end illegal immigration if you don't know who's in this country?" asked Giuliani on Hannity's program.
McCain spokesman Matt David explained the Arizona senator's vote against the Vitter amendment by telling ABC News, "It is another example of posturing on one part of the bill -- security -- with the deliberate hope of bringing down the rest (the guest worker, Z visa, and immigration reforms)."
Senate schedule permitting, McCain speaks with George Stephanopoulos in Pella, Iowa, on Friday after a town hall meeting. The McCain interview, which will take place Saturday if Friday presents a conflict, airs Sunday on "This Week."
Giuliani makes an effort to demonstrate his commitment to reducing abortion with a 5:00 pm ET visit to an adoption center in Brentwood, Mo., followed by a 6:30 pm ET fundraiser in St. Louis.
Mitt Romney, who rejected the Bush administration's vision of a decades-long troop presence in Iraq on Thursday, raises coin in Florida and South Carolina on Friday. LINK
Newt Gingrich steps into the spotlight on Friday when he lays out his post-Bush vision in a 10:00 am ET speech to the American Enterprise Institute.
One-time "foodaholic" Mike Huckabee speaks on weight loss in Tampa, Fla., on Friday. Meanwhile, ABC News' Rick Klein has Biden '88 man turned Huckabee '08 man Eric Woolson saying that the former Arkansas governor is contemplating whether to compete in the Straw Poll now that Giuliani, McCain (and Gilmore) have pulled out. LINK
"'We're in the business of taking gambles,' Woolson added. 'But are you still going to have 1,000 reporters show up? I don't think so now. How important will it be if you don't have the opportunity to go head-to-head with Giuliani in Iowa? Is second place a prize if McCain and Rudy aren't there?'"
Tom Tancredo, who is committed to the Straw Poll, gives his thoughts on immigration at two cultural diversity forums in Denison, Iowa, at 3:00 pm ET and the Convention Centre in Sioux City, Iowa.
On the Democratic side, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle attend an open press fundraiser in Chicago at 8:00 pm ET.
John Edwards has town hall meetings in New Hampshire all day. He'll canvass Derry, Nashua, and Manchester before heading to a house party in Rochester.
Hillary Clinton tends to Senate business in Washington, DC, with no public events. Bill Clinton will be the featured guest at the New Jersey State Democratic Party's noon fundraiser at the Performing Arts Center in Newark.