SNEAK PEEK: McMom: 'Hold Nose' and Vote


2 days until the South Carolina primary (Democrats)

5 days until the Florida primary

Roberta McCain has done it again!

Just as more and more pieces of the Republican establishment were consolidating around her son, John McCain's 96-year-old mother provided the press with an excuse for revisiting her son's trouble with the G.O.P.'s base.

"How much support do you think he has among the base of the Republican Party?" asked C-SPAN's Steve Scully in an interview set to air Sunday.

"I don't think he has any," said Mother McCain. "I don't know what the base of the Repub--maybe I don't know enough about it, but I've not seen any help whatsoever."

Asked if her son can go on to be the G.O.P.'s nominee, Roberta McCain said, "Yes, I think holding their nose they're going to have to take him."

"I'm really popping off," Mother McCain added, "but he worked like a dog to get Bush re-elected.  . . . He's backed Bush in everything except Rumsfeld.  Have you heard other senators and congressmen backing Bush over eight years? Find me it--give me a name.  I've not seen any public recognition of the work that he's done for the Republican Party."

The interview with C-SPAN's Scully was recorded Wednesday and is set to air Sunday at 6:30 pm ET on "Road to the White House."

It comes a couple of months after McCain's mother seemed to blame Mormons for the scandal that rocked the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

"As far as the Salt Lake City thing," Roberta McCain said of Mitt Romney, "he's a Mormon and the Mormons of Salt Lake City had caused that scandal."

The Arizona senator, who was seated next to his mother during the interview, raised his eyebrows and tried to defuse his mother's impolitic comments with some humor. "The views of my mother are not necessarily the views of mine," said McCain.

Watch Roberta McCain's Mormon comments here.

To help the press focus on McCain's past deviations from party orthodoxy, the Romney campaign has released a web video which mocks McCain as being "always for tax cuts, except when he's against them." Watch it here.

Five Republican '08ers -- Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul -- debate Thursday night in Boca Raton, Fla. At the conclusion of the Brian Williams-moderated affair, candidates will be allowed to ask one question of each other.

The 9:00 pm ET debate, which will be broadcast on MSNBC, comes as Florida's governor broached the "tantalizing" possibility of a pre-primary endorsement in an interview with Mark Halperin of ABC News and Time Magazine.

Watch it here.

You can follow Rick Klein's live blogging of the debate here.

On the Rudy Giuliani front, we learned Thursday that the pre-trial conference in U.S. v. Kerik has been rescheduled from Feb. 4 -- the day before Feb. 5 (when more than 20 states vote) -- to Feb. 6 at 10:00 am ET. The date was changed per the request of the defense, according to the docket sheet.

TiVo Alert:

Barack Obama handles "Top Ten" duties on Thursday's "Late Show with David Letterman."

Obama goes through his promises which include: "#8: Appoint Mitt Romney: Secretary of Lookin' Good."

Read all ten from ABC's Sunlen Miller here.

The kicker:

"The media that covers politics has got to understand that it's not about them either." --Sen. Hillary Clinton after saying politics is not about politicians (Michael Baisden's radio program, 1/24/08)

On the campaign trail. . .


-- 9:45 am ET: Holds media availability, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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