Charlie Black, a senior McCain adviser, tells ABC's Jennifer Parker that McCain will acknowledge disagreements with the NRA to show that he "doesn't change positions and talk about having epiphanies on issues." But Black added that former senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn. -- who has campaigned at gun shows -- would probably get the warmest reception from the NRA, Parker reports.
The New York Times editorializes against Giuliani's dueling gun positions today, professing amusement "watching the presidential contenders double back in denial of their own local political roots as they play to the biases of their parties' national nominating base." "As he approaches his speech in Washington before the NRA's lock-n-load zealots, the Giuliani campaign denies that its contender is trying to revise and amend his well-documented past as a fervid City Hall lobbyist for federal gun controls."
Yet elsewhere in that same newspaper appears the Giuliani the campaign wants to highlight -- Mr. 9/11, who made sure the trash was picked up on 9/12. The New York Times' Michael Powell recalls his leadership in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. "The spareness of his words and his passion became the founding stones in the reconstruction of the mayor's reputation, transforming him from a grouchy pol slip-sliding into irrelevancy to the Republican presidential candidate introduced as America's mayor," Powell writes. Clip-and-save quote, from former (and maybe future) senator Bob Kerrey, D-Neb.: "Giuliani was brave and reassuring, and you can't subtract that from his resume."
That other New Yorker in the race -- Clinton -- makes the rounds on all five Sunday shows this weekend, including an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week."
It's been a roller-coaster of a week for Clinton. Her healthcare plan came off hitch-free, but the Norman Hsu weirdness got weirder, and new questions were raised about some of her top fund-raisers. And that doesn't even cover the war, with Republicans trying to turn her latest Senate vote (on the MoveOn.org ad) into a campaign issue.
Find out why Clinton is this week's "Buzz Maker of the Week."
The latest on Hsu alleges that he "violated federal election laws by reimbursing several donors for the political checks they wrote, and extracted campaign donations from others by threatening to cut their ties with a highly lucrative Ponzi scheme he oversaw," The Washington Post's Matthew Mosk reports.
Clinton's healthcare plan came under attack last night at the AARP forum in Davenport, Iowa. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.: "Look, it's not the plan; it's the man or the woman pushing the plan." That teed up former senator John Edwards, D-N.C., who noted that Clinton's plan is "very similar" to his own: "We definitely need a president who's not compromising with the people," Edwards said, per ABC's Raelyn Johnson and Eloise Harper.
Writes the Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson, "five major Democratic presidential contenders used a debate Thursday night to spar over which of them was most likely to turn campaign rhetoric into reality." And Biden's response to Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., when Richardson touted his record as governor in predicting what he could do as president: "I played halfback when I was in high school, [so] I can play in the pros. It's a different deal."
But it was a candidate who wasn't on stage who drew some of the most scrutiny in Iowa (and no, Dennis Kucinich, we're not talking about you).